Amarillo City Council discussing 2019-2020 budget

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The proposed 2019-2020 budget for the City of Amarillo includes funding for 10 new positions for the Amarillo Fire Department, three new positions for Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare and increased street repair funding for major city thoroughfares.

The proposed tax rate was presented to Amarillo City Council Tuesday. That budget approval process includes public hearings on tomorrow, September 3 and September 10.

The first reading and vote of the tax rate for 2019-2020 is September 17. The second reading and final vote is September 24.

The city said the proposed tax rate will fund:

Ten new positions for Amarillo Fire Department to staff Proposition 2 projects as approved by voters in 2016.
Three new positions for Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare, which is also to staff Proposition 2 projects.
Increases in street repair funding for arterial streets. The city will evaluate streets to perform preventive maintenance. Work will be completed in summer of 2020.

The total proposed tax rate is $0.38851. The proposed tax rate for operating and maintenance is $0.34448. The proposed tax rate for debt service is $0.04403, which will fund voter-approved projects for streets and public safety.

The overall rate would mean an increase of $20.13 a year (or $1.68 a month) for a property owner with a residence homestead appraised value of $100,000. Of this amount, $17.50 a year will go toward general fund operations, and $2.63 a year will fund voter-approved Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 projects.

The proposed 2019/2020 budget includes a two percent pay raise for city employees. However, the city said this expenditure is included in the budget and is not funded by the tax rate increase.

The proposed 2019-2020 budget includes total estimated tax collections of $49,018,465 – an increase from 2018 of $3,029,641. Due to the tax ceiling on homesteads of owners 65 years and older and/or disabled, the city said they lost $2,075,840 in tax revenue in this proposed budget.

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