TCC election today

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Tulsa County voters will decide today whether to grant Tulsa Community College a permanent property tax increase of 1.7 mills for operations and maintenance (a 23% increase over the current level of 7.21 mills) and, in a separate proposition, a temporary seven-year property tax increase of about 3.1 mills to fund a $76 million bond issue for construction and remodeling.

My column in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly urges a vote against the two propositions. In short, TCC is in good shape and has plenty of money to accomplish its mission. Our priority ought to be fixing what needs the most improvement: Our city's grade "D" streets. We can't afford to let other taxing entities use up the public's limited tax tolerance. There isn't an overall local budget authority that oversees the City, the schools, the County, TCC, and other local government entities. It's up to us as taxpayers and voters to set funding priorities among these various agencies and governments.

You'll find more links about the proposed TCC tax hike in this earlier blog entry. To read the other side of the issue, you'll find a pro-tax-increase website at tccworks.com. You'll find much more about TCC and the tax vote at Stan Geiger's website, including this recitation of all the tax increases we've been asked to approve over the last 8 years.

All Tulsa County polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

MORE: No surprise: The Tulsa Whirled never met a tax it didn't endorse. I love the way they minimize the tax increase by putting it in terms of dollars per month. They don't tell you that it means a 67% increase in TCC's take from he taxpayers. Hardly "modest property tax increases." Of course, the Whirled would never concede that the other side might have a point:

They are anti-tax, antigrowth, anti-prosperity and anti-community. They don't care what they tear down, so long as they don't have to pay for the conveniences of living in a civilized society. They've already got theirs and could care less about the other guy.

Who's tearing down? Most "antis" on this tax are generally pleased with TCC; they just think TCC has enough money to do its job, and there are better places to allocate that additional millage.

The Whirled can't defend the tax increase on the merits, so they have to resort to propaganda techniques. Their argument boils down to: "You don't want to be like one of those nasty, angry anti-taxers. You want to be progressive and foresighted, like us."

The Whirled would have more credibility if they at least conceded that there are valid concerns on the other side of the issue. If once in a while, they called a proposed tax increase "ill-timed" or "larger than necessary," they might make more of an impact when they endorse a tax.

Can anyone think of a tax increase the Whirled has opposed?

BY WAY OF CONTRAST: Oklahoma County is voting on five bond issues today, covering courthouse renovation, a new building for the cooperative extension program, improved record retention facilities, and flood control. The big ticket item is to purchase the old GM plant in Midwest City so that it can be leased and perhaps sold at some future date to the Air Force for Tinker AFB expansion. Room for expansion is a factor weighed by the DoD's Base Realignment and Closure commission. The total property tax increase will be 1.521 mills over 15 years. (Via Dustbury.

Tulsa County has been using sales tax for these kinds of projects; it's interesting that Oklahoma County has no county sales tax, leaving sales tax for the cities to use as they see fit.

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9 Comments

Bob said:

The Tulsa World, to paraphrase the great Will Rogers, never met a TAX it didn't like.

Come to think of it, they did meet one that they didn't like.....someone in the Oklahoma Legislature a few years ago proposed a sales tax on:

NEWSPAPERS.

The Tulsa World really did NOT like that tax, and they worked to spike it.

Other than that one, I think they've supported every other state or local tax ever proposed.

Pamela said:

I was the first one that voted this morning (about 7:15). I voted no. My issue was not what it was being used for. I know that we will probably be asked to pay taxes for infrastructure. I will probably vote against any tax increase until I see the proposal for streets, lights, etc.

Bob said:

Michael:

Wonder when we can expect to see the "Citizens for TCC" Contributions and Expenditures Report??

They have to be spending $100,000's on ads, yard signs, phone banks, and direct mail.

However, I suspect that Cox Cable is again contributing free In-Kind TV time for the Vote Yes ads.

Like they've done many times before; always supporting a new Tax with free TV ad time, like they did in Vision 2025.

The World does oppose two more taxes - capital gains and the inheritance tax. The owners want to eliminate the capital gains tax because they would take a giant hit if they ever sold the newspaper. Similarly, Bobbie Lorton wants the inheritance tax to go away because of the impact it would have on him and his sisters when his parents are gone. The editorial staff and most of the reporting staff would support the capital gains tax and the inheritance tax, unless, of course, if they had to someday pay it.

In other words, Charles, the Lortons have "already got theirs and could care less about the other guy."

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Well, I seem to remember last year the big hullabaloo about free education for Tulsa County students. And now we're faced with a TCC tax increase? Can't the kids pay SOMETHING to help out. Socialism at its very core.

meeciteewurkor said:

I voted no this morning at about 830am.
I was voter number 5.

danf Author Profile Page said:

I was voter number 15 in south Broken Arrow at 2:30 this afternoon. Unbelievable.

Pamela said:

It failed. Again I probably will not vote for another tax increase until infrastructure is addressed.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 13, 2008 5:08 AM.

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