Amarillo sees increase in sales tax revenue

The promising numbers keep coming in for the City of Amarillo and the “Buy the Way – Keep It Local” (BTW) campaign.

The goal of the campaign, which began at Thanksgiving of 2017, is to emphasize the importance of purchasing local products and services. Recent numbers continue to show the success of the BTW effort.

December sales tax received for the City of Amarillo (which is actually for October sales) increased 5.47 percent compared to the December 2017 sales tax received. In December 2017, the sales tax received decreased 0.47 percent from December 2016.

This increase in sales tax revenue helped provide funding (in the 2018/2019 budget) for 17 new police officer positions, five new firefighter positions and for an upgrade to the city’s 911 emergency system.

“The importance of shopping locally cannot be underestimated,” said Amarillo City Councilmember Elaine Hays, who is leading the BTW campaign. “Purchasing products and services in Amarillo keeps our money at home, and helps pay for city services that benefit all of our residents.

“The numbers since the inception of the “Buy the Way – Keep It Local” initiative are exciting, and we are looking forward to expanding the campaign in 2019.”

As of July, the city had seven straight months of sales tax increases compared to 2017. There was an overall increase of 2.58 percent for the 2017/2018 fiscal year compared to the same time frame of 2017. This amounts to about $1.1 million in revenue for the city’s general fund. As of November, the city had $71,299,255 in sales tax collections for the fiscal year – an increase from $68,524,592 from a year ago.

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