CityScape SEPTEMBER 2017 | ISSUE 8 | AN UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS MOVING OKC FORWARD Coalition Formed to Build a Safer, Better OKC
A coalition of Oklahoma City civic organizations announced the formation of a campaign to promote the passage of the City’s general obligation bond and sales tax proposals being considered by voters on Sept. 12. Organized as the “Citizens for a Better OKC,” the group is sharing the benefits of the proposals with voters. The effort is being co-chaired by current Mayor Mick Cornett and former Mayor Ron Norick. “When I travel around the country and talk about our City’s success, I most frequently point to two things – our willingness to invest in our infrastructure and build the City we want, and to our willingness to work together to do just that,” Cornett said. “This campaign represents both of those vital components.” The Sept. 12 election will allow Oklahoma City’s residents to invest in a safer, better Oklahoma City by approving a bond program and two sales tax issues. By voting yes, residents will: • Invest $847 million in rebuilding and improving Oklahoma City’s streets, which are ranked the eighth-worst in the nation and are consistently the top concern of residents. Repairs include replacing bridges, resurfacing streets, building sidewalks, improving drainage, adding bike lanes and more. • Address understaffed police and fire departments by hiring 129 more police officers and 57 more firefighters to keep Oklahoma City residents safe. • Improve life in Oklahoma City by investing in parks, police and fire stations, libraries, transit systems, community and economic development, and more. The ballot will include a 10-year, $967 million general obligation bond package, a permanent quarter-cent sales tax proposal generating $26 million a year for hiring more police officers and firefighters, and a
temporary 27-month penny sales tax extension raising $240 million for street improvements – 15 ballot items in all. When combined, the bond and sales tax items will direct $1.2 billion toward Oklahoma City’s most pressing needs, including road improvements and increased public safety funding. Property taxes will not increase, and when both sales tax proposals are approved by voters, Oklahoma City’s total sales tax will be at the rate of 8.625 percent, lower than the state average of 8.86 percent.
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