Officials with the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation gave the Amarillo City Council its quarterly update during Tuesday’s regular meeting, highlighting numerous projects and the city’s economic performance in the first quarter of 2021.
Kevin Carter, president and chief executive officer of the AEDC, said the city has grown its sales tax collection percentage monthly for the past 10 months. This comes after city officials announced in early April that the increase of 5.72% for the month resulted in the highest sales tax total in city history for the month of April.
According to a news release, the city received $51,198.58 in single local rate collections or $2.92 million in taxable sales for remote sellers, a 76% increase compared to remote seller collections in April 2020, just after the pandemic began in March 2020. As a whole, sales tax collections for the city of Amarillo are up 4.57% compared to last year.
Officials said they believe this is a great sign for the city’s economy, as the area continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Carter said with Amarillo being the 14th largest city in the state, the city was reported as the 11th largest collector of sales tax in the state with a more than $4 billion retail economy.
“That says a lot about our economy and how fortunate we are in Amarillo, Texas, to have the assets that we have and the citizens that have remained steadfast during the pandemic,” Carter said. “Our economy has done way better than the rest of the state, and certainly, than the rest of the nation.”
Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson clarified that the sales tax percentage is set by the Texas Legislature at 8.25%, with the state taking 6.25% of those funds and the other 2% staying locally.
“What we mean when we say it has gone up 10 months in a row is we have so much economic activity happening here locally, the revenue that that tax rate produces has gone up,” she said.
During the presentation, Carter also gave updates on various projects the AEDC has been a part of, including Panhandle Pure and SSI Foods.
Carter also commented on the progress of the new Amazon fulfillment center being constructed on 110.39 acres at the intersection of NE 24th Street and Loop 335. According to previous reports, the new center is expected to create more than 500 new full-time jobs for the area and have an approximate $35 million economic impact on the city.
Both the city of Amarillo and Potter County Commissioners’ Court previously approved tax abatement agreements with Amazon.
“They are looking at a first quarter 2022 completion,” Carter said. “If you have been out there in the last week, there’s walls going up. The concrete panels are going up and (it’s) pretty exciting… to see that progress in our city.”
For more information about the Amarillo EDC, visit https://www.amarilloedc.com.