Tough decisions ahead for Amarillo City Council on parks assets after Prop. A fails

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After Amarillo voters voted down a proposition to further raise the city’s property tax rate last week, the city council will have some tough decisions to make regarding parks assets.

Proposition A, which failed with 55% of residents voting against the measure, would have approved a tax rate for the city of Amarillo of $0.48404 for the 2021-22 fiscal year, a 22% increase from the city’s rate of $0.39681 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Without the funds from Prop. A, the city’s parks and recreation department will only have funds to maintain current assets without adding any more.

However, the city’s property tax rate will increase regardless, as a result of a 2016 voter approved tax rate of $0.44334, a rate $0.0407 lower than the rate which was not approved. This voter approval tax rate is still an increase from the city’s rate of $0.39681 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Amarillo City Manager, Jared Miller, said as a result of those funds, an additional $3 million will go to the parks and recreation department.

MyHighPlains.com spoke with him after Prop. A failed last week.

“These additional resources are going allow us to do a much better job of maintaining our parks, keeping them in very enjoyable condition, and assist with park operations. It is going to be a big shot in the arm for the Parks program,” said Miller.

Now, the city and the city council will have to hear more from the community and consider reducing spending.

“As resources become more limited and more scarce, it’ll really make those conversations, real rubber hit the road conversations,” said Miller. “So, it’s going to continue to be those challenging conversations that we have all had for the last 20 plus years.”

This, as the city is in the tail end of its Parks Master Plan process.

“That’s going to help us, inform us on how we better allocate park resources,” Miller added. “Might result in closing some parks or moving to a different location with some parks amenities. We don’t have all the answers on that yet.”

The agenda for Tuesday’s Amarillo City Council meeting includes a discussion in the work session on parks and recreation service adjustments, including potential future park closures.

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