AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo is proposing a new tax rate that could lead homeowner’s in the city to pay more.

The City of Amarillo voted on setting a maximum property tax rate of .49 Tuesday, and with this proposal, homeowners could see a $4 a month increase for a $100,000 home.

Last year’s tax rate was .44 and because of the increase in property values, the effective tax rate dropped from .44 to .41, which is the rate needed to collect the same amount of revenue.

The proposed tax rate increase is to pay for issued debt is .049, which would pay for projects.

“The other piece of the rate is going to fund outstanding debt that is supported by property taxes, that amount is going up about eight pennies this year, so with that, there have been a few new projects that council has approved last year and so that is going to fund those new projects and all those outstanding projects from prior councils have approved as well,” said City of Amarillo Chief Financial Officer Laura Storrs.

That .049 increase would bring in an additional $12.5 million, which will go to pay for projects already approved like the new city hall, the field lighting for city parks, and the Amarillo Civic Center project.

If the civic center project does not move forward, the city council can not use those funds for new projects.

“If council moves forward with a property tax rate approving a property rate that does include the tax rate to cover the first debt service payment on the civic center project and for some reason, that project gets delayed, that money collected from the property tax can go towards paying down outstanding debts that have already been supported and approved by the city council to be funded by property taxes,” said Storrs.

The proposed tax rate increase without the approved debt is .031, for a total of 8% from the adjusted rate.

That money will go towards public safety items, such as four new police officers, 15 new firefighters, a new fire station, and a new fire district chief.

Councilmember Cole Stanley was the only member of the council to oppose the tax rate.

“My issue is with the INS side. It only relates to debt and service, it has nothing to do with the maintenance and operation of the budget. I’m in favor of what they presented for additional fire, police, and other needs we have in the city. But on the other side, that is a tax increase that is encumbered right now,” said Stanley.

He also opposed it due to the country being in a recession.

“We are watching the economy slope and we are watching things change. I’m being considerate of my taxpayer and going into a recession here is not the best time to increase taxes,” said Stanley.

The first reading and vote on the proposed tax rate will be on August 16th, with the second reading and vote being on August 19th. If finalized, through those two votes the property tax will be locked in by the 19th.

If this tax plan is approved, Amarillo residents will see less than a 2% increase in their total tax bill, according to the City of Amarillo. Residents 65 years and older will not see an increase.