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      Tax hikes hit the Panhandle

      If you live in the City of Amarillo, or Potter or Randall County, you may have tax hikes on your mind.

      Potter County held a public hearing Tuesday morning to talk about its proposed tax rate increase.

      "We're like the regular citizens. We don't want to do this, however, if we don't do something now and bite the bullet now, we could be looking at a real bad situation next year and that's what we're trying to avoid", said Potter County Commissioner, H.R. Kelley.

      Although it has not yet been approved, Potter County is looking at about a four cent tax rate increase. That means about an extra $33 a year if you own a $100,000 property. Moving a little quicker, Randall County held their second public hearing Tuesday morning regarding the new tax rate which will also be about a four cent increase over last year's rate.

      Better news for residents of Curry and Roosevelt Counties, though, officials with both counties tell us they will not have a tax hike this year. But residents of the City of Amarillo, you can expect a tax rate increase too of about a penny.

      "For the average homeowner, $112,000 home that's $16.45 additional tax this year", said Amarillo City Commissioner, Ellen Robertson Green.

      B ut, the City's tax hike hasn't been approved yet, commissioners will have two public hearings before the rate is approved at their next meeting on Tuesday.

      S omething everyone agreed on Tuesday -- better to increase taxes slightly now than dig yourself into a hole later.

      "What we're talking about is a one cent tax increase now to save us seven times the cost years down the road", said Robertson Green.

      "Basically, it's a bad situation that we find ourselves in but it's also a situation that we can take care of", added Kelley.

      City of Amarillo Old Tax Rate: 0.31009 Proposed Tax Rate: 0.32009

      To be approved Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

      Potter County Old Tax Rate: .59911 Proposed Tax Rate: .63350 To be approved Monday, September 26, 2011

      Randall County Old Tax Rate: .33217 Proposed Tax Rate: .37756