Amarillo City Council approves property tax rate and first reading of budget

New positions for the Amarillo Police Department (APD), Amarillo Fire Department (AFD) and increased funding for street and drainage projects are among the priorities in the proposed City of Amarillo (COA) 2023/2024 fiscal year budget.

Amarillo City Council approved Tuesday the first reading of the budget, along with the ad valorem property tax rate. 

The second and final vote on the proposed budget is scheduled for a special council meeting on Sept. 19 at 3 p.m.

The proposed budget is $531 million with an ad valorem tax rate of $0.39195 per $100 of property valuation, which funds $65 million of the city budget. 

“The proposed budget reflects the priorities of voters and the Amarillo community who spoke at the ballot box this past May,” said Mayor Cole Stanley. “Voters stressed public safety and improving city infrastructure such as streets. 

“The funding priorities help ensure our first responders – Amarillo Fire Department and Amarillo Police Department – have the resources needed to keep our community safe. Another budget priority is improving the quality of our city streets and drainage system.”

The proposed budget includes:

A reduction in the property tax rate for city operations by $1 million to issue $13.3 million for street projects and other projects. These projects include funding for the N.E. 24th Railroad Overpass Project and the Barrio S.E. 10th Streetscape Improvement Project.

Four new police officers for APD and three new district chiefs for AFD. Additional APD positions include a new crime scene technician, evidence technician and forensic video technician. The Amarillo Emergency Communications Center will have three new positions.

A total of $33 million for water and sewer projects. There will not be a rate increase for residential customers with typical water meters (meters of 5/8” or 1”). 

All other meters and tiered usage customers will have a 6 percent increase.

A total of $46 million for drainage projects. The typical residential customer will have a $1.58 per month increase in drainage utility fees to fund projects to improve the city’s drainage infrastructure.

The city will implement a dedicated dumpster replacement program for trash service. The single-family residential rate for trash service will increase $1.70 per month. The residential rate increase was held to a minimum due to a rate increase to commercial customers and landfill fees.

In order to address future needs as identified to council by the community, a total of $4.5 million is allocated for future city priorities.

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