River plan economic impact spreadsheet

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I got lazy back in September and neglected to link several of my Urban Tulsa Weekly columns. The column that came out on September 12, 2007, called "Show Your Work," dealt with the economic impact estimates that were developed for the Tulsa County river sales tax by the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

Click this link to view the economic impact spreadsheet developed by the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Bob Ball. It's PDF format. (Because of the way I scanned it, you'll need to either tell Adobe Reader to rotate it 90 degrees clockwise, or roll your head 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Or you could print it out and hold it right way up.

Please note that Ball did not provide UTW with an Excel spreadsheet file, which would have revealed a great deal about how the calculations were done. Instead, he provided a printout, which showed the resulting numbers without the formulae behind them.

Back at the end of August, UTW reporter Brian Ervin interviewed Ball about the assumptions in his economic numbers. A salient quote:

Since the $2.8 billion return is the top selling point for the river tax, UTW later contacted Ball for that "simple explanation" of how he arrived at that impressive number.

The initial capital investment figure is foundational to everything else, so Ball was asked how he came up with the $450 million in private investment that he added to the public funding and private donations.

"Through conversations with some developers," he answered.

He said he couldn't divulge exactly which developers, but that none had committed any specific amount of money for any particular development projects along the river.

"They were somewhat casual conversations," Ball explained.

"But, why wouldn't they want to develop? We've already got Riverwalk Crossing," he added.

During the City Council presentation, Neal had emphasized that the $450 million is "an extremely, extremely, extremely conservative number."

Ball told UTW that he utilized the IMPLAN economic analysis model, created by the Stillwater, Minn.-based IMPLAN Group, to calculate the economic impact of that estimated $786 million investment.

This is a good place to mention that two of the three large proposed riverfront private developments that have been claimed by proponents as dependent on this plan are already committed to moving forward regardless of next Tuesday's outcome, having already obtained tax incentives from their respective municipalities. It isn't right to include them in comparing public investment in this tax vs. private investment on the river.

Remy Cos. $50 million South Village lifestyle center, planned for the south bank of the Arkansas River in Bixby is moving forward with a $5 million tax increment finance (TIF) based incentive from the City of Bixby. That will be generated by a one-cent sales tax rebate to the developer for the first 10 years of operation. None of the dams, bridges, or river modifications in the Tulsa County sales tax package on next week's ballot will affect his development.

The $1,000 million River District in Jenks is also moving forward regardless. Jenks has approved a TIF district that is expected to bring in $220 million for project and development costs. Like Bixby's TIF, this one will also capture one cent of sales tax, as well as the ad valorem (property) tax.

A City of Tulsa TIF could be used for development on Tulsa's west bank at 21st Street. This should bring in enough money for land acquisition and site preparation to make way for a developer. Since we already have water in the river at 21st Street, any private investment at that location should not be counted as dependent on passage of the Tulsa County sales tax.

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s said:

Sharon K. Davis has also been mentioned as a probable participant in developing there.

bixby development said:

Former Bixby Mayor and current City Bixby Council Member Joe Williams who is also an engineer had questions about trusting the County because he has been said that the Tulsa County leaders have not always been accountable to go through with their promises on what they will do.

So Randi Miller wanting the BixbyCity Council to be all in favor of the River Tax promises to allow Bixby development to be one of the very first to receive help from the Yes vote if it passes with $8 million dollars to spur development and finish the Bentley Park, paint the yellow banana bridge, purchase the sand plant land so they can immediately turn around and sell the land to a developer that will immediately has plans as soon as the yes vote is passed to go forward with all of those development plans at that location of the sand plants that are near the Memorial bridge.

A meager $25 should not excite senior citizens if this tax vote passes.

City workers should also pick up the "vote yes" signs near 61st and 169.

Tulsa Realist said:

Great analysis Michael. Thank you. In addition to the issues raised by your analysis, there is also another elephant on the table nobody is talking about. Even IF this river tax passes, the proposed Tulsa Landing will almost certainly need a TIF or other public financing in order to go forward.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 2, 2007 10:48 PM.

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