Commissioners discuss 2012-2013 property taxes

If all goes according to plan, citizens of Amarillo will not be paying more in property taxes over the next year.

In 2011, commissioners voted in favor of raising property taxes from 31 cents per $100 evaluation to 32 cents per $100 evaluation. The extra money made from that increase went to hire more police officers and resurface city streets.

According to City Commissioner Ellen Robertson-Green, commissioners will more than likely set the same tax rate for the 2012-2013 year. But for the 2013-2014 year, another increase could be a possibility.

"In October, November- down the road- we could look at borrowing money," Robertson-Green stated. "And if we borrow money the following year, you might be looking at a little bit of an increase to start paying back that money."

Robertson-Green said she feels the city could be in trouble if it does not continue to get more roads maintained and hire more law enforcement.

"Our community is at the point where we're seeing basic infrastructure needing some help. So, we have our streets. We have our drainage system. We have things that have never been looked at before or at least haven't been looked at in years."

As far as a property tax hike goes, Robertson-Green added she and the rest of the commissioners will be diligent in their decision.

"Our discussion so far has been, 'What better time to borrow money than when the interest rates are as low as they are right now?' The last time the City has borrowed money was 2007 and, so, I think the fiscally responsible thing to do is wait in at least five-year increments before you borrow some money."

Should commissioners vote in favor of a property tax hike for the 2013-2014 year, public hearings will be held on the matter.