Tulsa County Commissioners put Vision2 (ObamaVision) on November ballot

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The Tulsa County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday morning, to the disappointment of many and the surprise of none, to put a 13-year sales tax extension on the ballot this coming November, more than four years before the tax is scheduled to expire. The package is being called Vision2 by its supporters. I call it ObamaVision for reasons described in a previous entry. The tax plan is a sort of Keynesian stimulus, much like the Obama stimulus package, borrowing today against future revenues to spend now.

The proposed taxes will last for 13 years without any provision for early termination. They will go into effect just as the Vision 2025 taxes expire at midnight on December 31, 2016 - January 1, 2017. Note that the resolutions leave certain expenses undefined, such as the amount of revenue that will pay debt service and bond fees, the amount of money in the Economic Development Slush Fund. The current Vision 2025 sales tax fund has raised an average of $53,426,185.35 per year over the first eight years of collections. Assuming no growth, Vision2 Proposition 1 would raise about $359 million, leaving over $100 million for debt service and Slush Fund. Proposition 2, the strings-attached bribe fund for the municipalities would raise about $335 million, again assuming no growth.

Tulsa would be a donor city under the scheme. Based on the last 12 months of tax revenue, the City of Tulsa collects a little over $71 million for each penny of sales tax. If the City of Tulsa were to impose its own 0.29% tax, it would collect about $268 million over 13 years. Under the county tax scheme, the City of Tulsa would only receive about $146 million (43.63% of $335 million), about 54% of what it could collect on its own at the same tax rate over the same period.

Below are direct links to the ballot resolutions on the county website. The ballot resolutions define the language that will appear on the ballot and any constraints on how the taxes received can be spent. While much of the text of the resolutions is boilerplate, Section 1 defines what will appear on the ballot, Section 4 defines the amount of tax increase, Section 5 defines the period for collecting the tax, Section 6 defines the rebate, and Section 8 defines how the money is to be spent.

Ballot Resolution for Vision2 Proposition No. 1: American Airlines Bailout, Economic Development Slush Fund

Ballot Resolution for Vision2 Proposition No. 2: Bribes for the cities (with strings attached)

And here is a summary of each, with the text of Section 8:

Proposition No. 1:

0.310% sales tax, collected 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2029 for "promoting economic development within Tulsa County, Oklahoma."

Section 8. It is hereby declared to be the purpose of this Resolution to provide revenue for the purpose of promoting economic development within Tulsa County, Oklahoma, and/or to be applied or pledged toward the payment of principal and interest on any indebtedness, including refunding indebtedness, incurred by or on behalf of Tulsa County for such purpose, including the following projects:

Acquiring, constructing, improving or rehabilitating installations, buildings, improvements and infrastructure and other capital improvements to be owned by Tulsa County, Oklahoma, or the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma or a public trust or trusts formed for the benefit of either or both, for use by industrial or commercial concerns on locations in and around the Tulsa International Airport Industrial Complex.

Not to exceed $122,000,000.00

Acquiring, delivering and installing of equipment and fixtures and other capital improvements to be owned by Tulsa County, Oklahoma, or the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma or a public trust or trusts formed for the benefit of either or both, for use by industrial or commercial concerns on locations in and around the Tulsa International Airport Industrial Complex.

Not to exceed $132,000,000.00

All sales tax revenues in excess of the amounts necessary to complete the above listed projects (not to exceed $254,000,000.00 in total) plus any advance funding costs associated therewith shall be used to fund land, buildings, infrastructure and other capital improvements for the purpose of promoting economic development within Tulsa County, Oklahoma, including funding job creation programs, as determined by a public trust having Tulsa County, Oklahoma, the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the City of Bixby, Oklahoma, the City of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the City of Collinsville, Oklahoma, the City of Glenpool, Oklahoma, the City of Jenks, Oklahoma, the City of Owasso, Oklahoma, the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, the Town of Skiatook, Oklahoma and the Town of Sperry, Oklahoma, as its beneficiaries. Such public trust shall have seven trustees consisting of, ex-officio, the three members of the governing body of Tulsa County, Oklahoma, and the Mayor of the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and three members each of whom shall be at the time of appointment the Mayor of a municipality, other than the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, located in whole or in part in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, appointed by the presiding officer of the governing body of Tulsa County, Oklahoma, and confirmed by a majority of the persons who constitute the governing body of Tulsa County, Oklahoma. In the expenditure of all funds hereunder, preference shall be given to local vendors and contractors to the extent permitted by law. In addition, such public trust shall approve any deletion or addition of projects from those listed above and any major change in scope, following a public hearing by such trust.

Proposition No. 2:

0.290% sales tax, collected 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2029 for "purpose of acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping capital improvements to be owned by Tulsa County, Oklahoma, incorporated municipalities located in whole or in part within Tulsa County, Oklahoma, or the State of Oklahoma or any instrumentality thereof."

Section 8. It is hereby declared to be the purpose of this Resolution to provide revenue for the purpose of, acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping capital improvements to be owned by Tulsa County, Oklahoma, incorporated municipalities located in whole or in part within Tulsa County, Oklahoma, or the State of Oklahoma or any instrumentality thereof, and/or to be applied or pledged toward the payment of principal and interest on any indebtedness, including refunding indebtedness, incurred by or on behalf of Tulsa County or incorporated municipalities located in whole or in part within Tulsa County, Oklahoma for such purpose. All sales tax revenues received shall be used for such purpose, as determined by the following provisions:

"Capital Improvements" as used herein shall mean all items and articles, either new or replacements, not consumed with use but only diminished in value with prolonged use, including but not limited to, the purchase, lease or rental of machinery, equipment, traffic control devices and street lighting systems, furniture and fixtures; the acquisition of all real properties; the construction, reconstruction and repair of buildings, appurtenances and improvements to real property; the construction, reconstruction and repair of roads, highways, streets, alleys, overpasses, underpasses, bridges, trails, sidewalks, and other public ways, including the acquisition of rights-of-way and other real property necessary for such construction; the construction, reconstruction and repair of water systems and facilities, sanitary and storm sewer systems and facilities, drainage improvements, data transmission or processing systems and facilities, and communications systems and facilities, including the acquisition of rights-of-way and other real property necessary for such construction; the costs and expenses related to the aforesaid including, design, engineering, architectural, real property or legal fees.

Sales taxes actually collected shall be used for projects for Tulsa County, Oklahoma, the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the City of Bixby, Oklahoma, the City of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the City of Collinsville, Oklahoma, the City of Glenpool, Oklahoma, the City of Jenks, Oklahoma, the City of Owasso, Oklahoma, the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, the Town of Skiatook, Oklahoma and the Town of Sperry, Oklahoma (collectively the "Political Subdivisions") based upon the following percentages of sales tax actually collected:

Political Subdivision Percentage of Sales Tax Political Subdivision Allocated to Projects of Political Subdivision
Tulsa County 28.74%
City of Tulsa 43.63%
City of Bixby 3.13%
City of Broken Arrow 12.19%
City of Collinsville .85%
City of Glenpool 1.63%
City of Jenks 2.56%
City of Owasso 3.98%
City of Sand Springs 2.79%
Town of Skiatook .32%
Town of Sperry .18%
Total 100.00%


Projects shall be identified by the governing body of each Political Subdivision following public hearing and input of public comment, in such form and process as determined by such governing body, and shall be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners of Tulsa County, Oklahoma to determine whether the sales tax collected pursuant to this Resolution may be properly expended for such Project. Any advance funding costs associated with funding a Project prior to the date a sufficient amount of sales taxes is collected for such Project shall be paid by the Political Subdivision from other funds, or shall be paid from such Political Subdivision's allocation of sales tax in such amounts and proportions as determined by the Board of County Commissioners of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

2 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Tulsa County Commissioners put Vision2 (ObamaVision) on November ballot.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.batesline.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/6520

A possible response to my earlier entry, Vision2 share vs. Tulsa County municipality population, is that it doesn't count the money in Proposition 1 to improve city-owned facilities and to provide "equipment and fixtures and other capital improvements"... Read More

Tulsa isn't the only city that would be a fiscal loser if Vision2 is approved by voters in November. A BatesLine analysis of tax revenues has determined that Tulsa County's second-largest city, Broken Arrow, would receive only half as much money under ... Read More

2 Comments

Brandon said:

What is interesting is the county and cities don't want to say what the projects are before approval. That is an automatic NO Vote. My math might be wrong but with what Bates is saying is unaccounted for or $100 million isn't that about 20% for interest and discretional (slush) spending?

This is just like most sequels...a bomb at the ballot box!!

Bob said:

I'm voting NO to ObamaVision2 and AGAINST Crony Capitalism.

And, also voting FOR Romney-Ryan.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 14, 2012 12:14 AM.

Tulsa County ObamaVision plan unveiled was the previous entry in this blog.

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