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      City of Amarillo may increase property tax, city seeing slight increase in property value

      City may implement half cent property tax increase.

      The City of Amarillo is looking over the proposed budget that includes a half cent increase in property taxes.

      The proposed increase was discussed during the city council meeting on Tuesday.

      The goals of the budget would include increased employment for city departments like the police department and Animal Management and Welfare. Other goals include funds for water, sewage, and drainage along with replacement of city vehicles.

      Potter Randall Appraisal Districtâ??s Kathy Sweney said the city saw a 4 percent increase in property value this year with more than $11 billion in value.

      â??We distributed those certified values to the jurisdictions which is what the city is looking at to determine their value to set tax rates," Sweney said.

      She also said the economy is at a steady enough rate and people have been buying houses. Sweney said this tax increase is affordable enough for residents.

      â??If we had soaring property values, it would have a greater effect on what tax we raise, but we're seeing a stable economy so we don't have a lot of movement," Sweney said.

      Local Amarillo Economist Karr Ingham agrees with Amarilloâ??s economy being at a good point right now, and said we are getting better due to spending power.

      â??We have strong spending growth by consumers based on sales tax. Weâ??re actually up 5-6 percent,â?? Ingham said.

      He said Amarillo recovered fully from the 2009 recession last year, and that Amarilloâ??s property tax is not as high comparable to other cities.

      â??Our city of Amarillo property tax is actually low compared to cities that are like us elsewhere in Texas," Sweney said.

      Sweney said while Amarilloâ??s spending power is doing well, job growth in the economy isnâ??t and would like to see that improve.

      The city will have the hearing about the budget on Monday.