City of Amarillo’s tax-related proposition fails in November election

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Residents of the city of Amarillo throughout Potter and Randall counties voted down the city’s tax-related measure in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results released Tuesday from the two counties.

According to data from each of the county’s election administration offices, 55% of residents voted against the measure, which 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.

Because the measure was voted down, the tax rate for the city of Amarillo is set to be the voter approval 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.

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the extra funds from the increased tax rate were expected to fund the following items:

  • Improvements for parks, athletic fields, trails, other facility and maintenance needs; 
  • Six new police department personnel, associated vehicles and equipment; 
  • Additional police/fire equipment; 
  • Street pothole repairs and resurfacing; 
  • Pay adjustments for Amarillo Emergency Communications Center staff; 
  • A 1% increase in compensation for police, fire and city employees. 

“Our Proposition A ballot language outlines exactly what these tax dollars go towards. We can not use it for anything else. We cannot use it for the Civic Center. Civic Center is nowhere on the ballot language. We can use it for city hall. Also, that is nowhere on the ballot language,” city of Amarillo Assistant City Manager Laura Storrs said prior to Tuesday’s results.

The results reported from the two counties surrounding Proposition A are as follows:

  • Total For: 6,539 – 45%
  • Total Against: 8,092 – 55%
  • Potter For: 2,248 – 44.98%
  • Potter Against: 2,750 – 55.02%
  • Randall For: 4,291 – 44.54%
  • Randall Against: 5,342 – 55.46%

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Storrs previously said that some of the first responders positions would not be filled if the measure did not pass. She also said that it would impact new first responders equipment as well as funds which would fund additional pothole repairs and street resurfacing. The proposition failing also took away approximately $1.5 million in additional funding for parks and recreation improvements.

“It’s more of maintaining what we need just to get by right now and not being able to kind of put some additional items out there, some additional improvements out there in the community,” she said. 

Prior to the results, Storrs said if the proposition failed, city officials could go to the council and find a way to secure funding from top priority items initially featured in the proposition.

“If we happen to see growth in some of our appraised values, we could potentially fund parts of that sometime in the future, but more than likely it would take a property tax rate increase and that would be something to decide if they were in support of or if they wanted to take it back to citizens at a future point in time for citizens to weigh in on,” Storrs said.

For more Election 2021 coverage, as well as coverage on Election Day from our team of reporters, visit MyHighPlains.com.

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