The Amarillo City Council approved the maximum allowable tax rate for its 2022-2023 fiscal year, which runs from October to September. The rate that was approved is $0.4986, which is a slight increase over this year’s rate of $0.44334. While that is a slight increase, we felt it was important to look at where the extra revenue will go and how that rate compares per capita to other cities across the State.
The proposed increase equates to around $4 per month on a home with a value of $100,000. A home valued at $200,000 would see an $8 increase, and so on. Property taxes will not increase for those 65 and over. For that relatively small increase, our City will get a much needed fire station in the medical center, one of the areas severely lacking fire coverage, and the crew to man that station. The Fire Department would also be able to add a District Fire Chief dedicated to EMS. The increase would cover the costs for four additional police officers. It will also allow the City to continue to invest in our parks and cover recent debt issues for the Civic Center, City Hall, and athletic field lighting, along with maintaining all of the services currently being provided.
The City presented a chart that really caught our eye, which looks at what each person is paying into the City each year. In Amarillo, each resident pays just over $400 per year in City taxes. When you head down I-27 and look at Lubbock, that number is just over $430, although they are also increasing their rate this year as well. The per capita amount gets higher as you move closer to the metroplex with residents in Garland paying $566 and Grand Prairie paying over $600. The town of Frisco pays $768 in per capita tax revenue. Below is a chart from the City’s tax rate presentation. You’ll note the average per capita rate is $501.99, which Amarillo is well-below.
When you look at your entire tax bill, less than 20 percent of it goes to the City of Amarillo.
The tax rate in Amarillo is very conservative. In fact, the proposed 2022-2023 tax rate is still one of the lowest city rates in the State. The Amarillo City Manager stated, “Difficult choices were made to ensure we can efficiently and effectively manage our resources given the largest inflation seen in decades, rising fuel costs, and low unemployment in the area creating additional pressure on recruitment and retainment, while still addressing Council pillars and continuing our commitment to serve the citizens of Amarillo.”
Again, it’s important to note that’s the maximum rate they can pass and their budget and tax rate discussions will continue throughout the month with the final vote expected on August 19.
Amarillo is growing. There’s a level of economic growth like we’ve never seen before. We must be willing to invest in our community to make sure it continues to be a great place to live, raise our families, and do business. You can read the entire budget here.