This November, voters in Amarillo may have the opportunity to decide the fate of a large tax increase being put forward by their city council.

On Friday, August 13, the Amarillo City Council will conduct a public hearing on a proposed 24.48 percent tax increase for municipal taxpayers. The proposed rate would increase annual property taxes on a $100,000 home by more than $60 per year.

After the public hearing and an approval vote on the tax rate, the city council will vote on ordering an election to ratify the tax rate. The election is required under state law due to the fact that the council’s proposed tax rate—$0.48404—is higher than the voter-approval tax rate of $0.44334.

If the election is ordered, it will be held on November 2. The ballot will also feature another item dealing with municipal spending, as voters are expected to decide the fate of a proposed issuance of $35 million in taxpayer-funded debt to create a new city hall downtown. That item became eligible for voters to decide due to a petition drive, which organizers say collected well over the total number of signatures needed to trigger an election.

Taxpayers interested in having a say on Friday’s vote may contact their city officials at their office emails or phone numbers, or speak during the public hearing on Friday.

The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 13, at Amarillo City Hall.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.