AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo is seeing a budget surplus of $8.1 million as they made more on hotel occupancy and sales tax than they budgeted for.

City of Amarillo Finance Director Debbie Reid said they are awaiting the year-end audit from 2021 to see when they will receive those funds.

Reid said the HOT tax and sales tax have rebounded very well with COVID-19.

She added the last two years have been very difficult for any city to budget and with the impact of COVID and not knowing what was going to happen. She said the city budgeted very conservatively.

Reid said seeing the HOT tax and sales tax come in strong is good for the city, but they were careful in budgeting those two moving forward.

“We think there was some spike in the spending due to the stimulus money that was poured into the economy, so we are careful not to rely on that heightened revenue increase and we are monitoring that and we are expecting it to level out to normal growth in the City of Amarillo,” said Reid.

At the Amarillo City Council meeting, Reid said the most areas under budget were major capital projects.

“The capital projects item that I noted was from the previous fiscal year and the excess reserves that were approved by council to spend on certain projects, just delineating between the normal operating budget and the capital projects,” said Reid.

Reid added they have already received sale tax receipts for October, November, and December and they have come in at a higher level, which she said is good, but again said the city expects it to level off.

She said for the fiscal year 2022, the city budgeted back to a normal increase in sales and HOT tax because they see it normalizing.

“Our population hasn’t grown tremendously and we don’t expect it to stay heighten and continue it to increase and we project that it will level out,” said Reid.

As the new year starts, Reid said the city is in a good place budget-wise.

“In the new year, revenues are coming in strong and as we saw from last fiscal year, so that’s a good thing going into the new year. Spending, the departments are staying within their budgets, of course, we are early on and we will see some savings with those open positions,” added Reid.