Voters in Amarillo defeated a ballot item on Tuesday night that would have caused the largest single tax increase in the city’s history.

On Tuesday, voters defeated City of Amarillo Proposition A by a margin of 55-45 percent. The item was a tax rollback question, in which voters had the chance to decide on the ratification of a proposed 24 percent property tax increase.

Supporters of the tax increase, led by Vote for Kids Amarillo PAC, claimed the item would have paid for new improvements to city parks and additional items for first responders. Meanwhile, opponents of the tax increase, led by Save Amarillo PAC, said the item would have caused the largest tax increase in the city’s history without guarantees of where the money would be spent. The Amarillo City Council was also heavily criticized for placing the item on the ballot just a year after voters defeated a proposed $275 million bond that would have raised taxes by 39 percent.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, Save Amarillo PAC celebrated the defeat of Proposition A, saying that Amarillo voters have made it clear that they are not in favor of higher taxes in their community.

“For the second year in a row, Amarillo voters have made it clear that they will not be bullied into supporting massive tax hikes,” the PAC’s statement said.

Save Amarillo PAC also praised Amarillo City Councilman Cole Stanley as the “sole voice of reason on City Council during this campaign.” Stanley was the only member of the city council to vote against the 24 percent tax rate when it was brought forward this summer.

With the item now defeated, the City of Amarillo will be limited to ratifying a tax rate that will raise taxes no more than 3.5 percent for the upcoming fiscal year under state law.

Thomas Warren

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


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