City officials and 2021 Amarillo mayoral candidates discuss Amarillo’s current and previous tax rates

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With early voting for the upcoming municipal elections beginning in less than a week, candidates are sharing their stances on many issues and subjects, such as local tax rates.

When it comes to Amarillo’s current tax rate, Amarillo’s mayoral candidates have expressed contradicting opinions.

Mayor Ginger Nelson, Amarillo’s incumbent mayoral candidate, stated, “When you compare us to the ten cities larger than us and the ten cities smaller than us, Amarillo has the second lowest tax rate.”

However, Claudette Smith, Amarillo mayoral candidate, said, “I always encourage people, don’t believe all these big fancy mailers that come in the mail, because that’s actually not true. In fact, we’re the third highest with the third highest if you look at the thirteen cities above, with population above 100,000 people. We are the third highest, but the problem is they’re taking that number and finagling- doing it how they want it to be to make it look the way they want it to sound to people.”

Amarillo Assistant City Manager, Laura Storrs, stated that in the state of Texas, Amarillo has one of the lowest property tax rates of a “comparable-sized city.” She continued to say, “Here in the city of Amarillo, we- I know previous councils and our current council have worked diligently to keep our property tax rate as low as possible.”

To put these rates into perspective, the City of Amarillo shared the following numbers from the past four years.

·         2017 Tax Rate – $0.36364

·         2018 Tax Rate – $0.36838

·         2019 Tax Rate – $0.38851

· 2020 Tax Rate – $0.39681

Regarding the topic of local tax rates, Amarillo mayoral candidate, Michael Hunt stated, “I believe there is more Amarillo can do to promote low taxes. I believe excessive spending should be put into check and that the City Council should stop pushing bond elections that have been rejected year after year by taxpayers. I voted against Ginger Nelson’s 39% tax increase last year and I will continue to oppose massive tax increases as Mayor.”

As for Amarillo mayoral candidate, Carl Karas, he stated, “I will say that renovation of public buildings will keep taxes down. Not proposing a new 360 mill (sic) convention center for example but renovating the existing.”

Early voting for Amarillo’s Municipal Election begins Monday, April 19th.

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