Friday, December 09, 2005

A little closer to home

If you don't live in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, you can skip on to something else.

Next Tuesday, December 13, county voters go to the polls to renew or reject the 1/6 cent "4 to fix the county" sales tax proposal. It's a five-year project that will begin in a few months at the end of the last five year project. It's designed to raise $62 million.

The first one was badly needed.

This one is a boon-doggle.

But you don't have to take our word for it. There's an excellent rundown by Michael Bates (the BatesLine guy) over at Urban

We heard ORU president Richard Roberts on the radio this morning shilling for the renewal of the tax. The best he could offer is that in addition to showing the world that Tulsa is serious about preparing for the future, why it really isn't a new tax at all since it will just replace the tax we voted in five years ago. No change equals no pain, right? If you're not moving ahead you're falling behind?

Wrong. Who said there was no change? The last we checked, residents of Tulsa County were getting hard hit by increases in natural gas and electrical rates, and has anyone else noticed the sky-rocketing price of groceries? The outlook for the coming year is for more of the same. At some point someone has to say, "Hey, what about MY needs? I can live without a new golf cart storage barn. I'm having to cut back and economize. Why shouldn't government have to do the same?"

It's not like last time where we were having to replace facilities at the fairgrounds that were to the point of being unsafe. And as far as we can tell a no vote does not take bread out of anyone's mouth. One-sixth of a cent doesn't sound like much, but it's a start in the right direction. Sales taxes today run over 9 cents in most cities in Tulsa County. Sales taxes are higher than state income taxes.

Saying no on Tuesday is a shot across the bow to all units of local government as we tell them to quit taking us for granted. Get lean and mean. Figure out what is essential. Get creative.


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