Amarillo City Council discusses 2016 bond incentives

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — At Tuesday’s Amarillo City Council meeting, street repairs and public safety, two bond initiatives that voters approved in 2016 were up for discussion.

From those 2016 propositions, the remaining debt left to be issued is over $57 million. The recommendation being given is to issue those remaining funds in late January 2021.

The reasoning is that the city could spend all proceeds within three years and take advantage of lower interest rates that could save the city and taxpayers money.

“We were even at a low-interest rate at that point in time. They were still raising at that point, but of course, they turned around and started dropping. So, yes we are looking at more favorable interest rates, a lot more than we had originally anticipated with those issuance,” said Amarillo Assistant City Manager Laura Storrs.

The money will be divided out over 2021 summer and spring projects, which could take an estimated $24 million to complete and the 2022 and 2023 spring and summer projects.

“It does make sense then to issue the entire debt saving a sufficient amount of money, versus what was projected in 2016 and tax rate versus what was projected in 2016. So it is what we forecast to be the maximum savings possible for the taxpayers on the tax rate,” said Amarillo City Manager Jared Miller.

The city has already issued $13.6 million to complete projects like Fire Station 5 and a building at Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare.

The property tax rate impact on issuing the debt in January 2021 would be 5.32 cents. This would be a savings of 1.45 cents from the original 6.77 cents in 2016.

This will be reviewed by the council again before any debt is issued and discussion is made regarding the bond.

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