Tulsa Vision 2025: November 2003 Archives

This news is from early last week, but in the interest of completeness, here it is. The Mayor has named two oversight committees, with more to come. The first committee is for oversight of all Vision 2025 projects that will be built and managed by the City of Tulsa. The second committee is specifically to oversee the design and construction of the new arena. You can follow the link, but here's the list for your convenience:

Vision 2025 Oversight Committee
Charles Hardt, Tulsa Public Works director

Steve Sewell, Tulsa deputy mayor

Mike Buchert, Tulsa Public Works assistant director

David Patrick, Tulsa City Council chairman

Mike Kier, Finance director

Willie George, pastor of Church on the Move

Karen Keith, Tulsa Mayor's Office

Charles Norman, Norman, Wohlgemuth, Chandler & Dowdell law firm

Rex Ball, retired Tulsa architect

Larry Silvey, retired, OU Tulsa

Bob Smith, Poe & Associates.

Events Center Design Committee

Karen Keith, Mayor's Office

Joan Seay, TulsaNow

Wayman Tisdale, Tisway Productions

Suzann Stewart, Tulsa Metro Chamber Convention and Visitor's Bureau

John Scott, Performing Arts Center & Maxwell Convention Center

Linda Frazier, Tulsa Arts Commission

Tulsa City Councilor Tom Baker.

Some positive elements: I'm very glad to see two TulsaNow leaders on each committee. Larry Silvey, Rex Ball, Linda Frazier, and Joan Seay will add some fresh thinking and will challenge conventional wisdom. (Last year, Joan led a group which researched best downtown revitalization practices in other cities. Linda Frazier was also a part of that group. You can read their report here.)

Much trumpeting about Boeing's announcement that, if Boeing decides to build the 7E7, their Tulsa facility will get work building leading edge parts for wings, creating about 500 jobs. (Here's the Whirled's front page, story continued here.)

It's good news, if it happens, although a key qualification lurks at the end of the story:

Asked if Boeing's commitment to Tulsa meant the 7E7 was a "go," [Boeing spokesman Lori] Gunter said such an assumption was "premature."

"These are the decisions that have been made," Gunter said. "The board will look at the market interest and the business case we have. There are still a lot of decisions to be made about the airplane. It's too early."

The story reports that elected officials are claiming that this is another positive result of the Vision 2025 tax, which goes into effect January 1. At the same time, they say that the $350 million incentive package that was on the Vision 2025 ballot is only for the final assembly facility, if we get it. Still, officials are quoted as saying that Tulsa's willingness to tax themselves is why Boeing is bringing the jobs here.

I'm assuming that Boeing makes rational business decisions based on maximizing shareholder value, not based on sentimental reasons. Steve Hendrickson, a local Boeing exec, gave these reasons for the work coming to Tulsa:

"We do comparable work here in Tulsa on the (Boeing) 737, 777 and 747," Hendrickson said. "We got this work because of our hard-working and talented employees, the quality of the work we do on existing programs and the affordability" of Tulsa-produced components, he said.

Good workers, relatively low wages, and experience in working on comparable components. Nothing about financial incentives.

The only way the Vision 2025 tax would have influenced Boeing's decision is if Boeing had some assurances that some of that money would come their way.
And in fact, it could.

Taxing de-light


We told you so, but the Whirled affirms it this morning (jump page is here). The increase in sales taxes to pay for "Vision 2025" will apply to gas and electric bills as well as retail sales. Municipal sales taxes have applied to gas and electric for some time, but state legislation this year clarified that county sales taxes apply too.

Oddly, the Whirled story suggests that the extra $32 million raised by the tax on utilities wouldn't have to go into the Vision 2025 pot, but instead could be applied to the operating deficit of the county jail.

This is the second extra tax increase tied to Vision 2025. Back in October, the County Commissioners approved a use tax increase to correspond to the sales tax increase approved by voters. The use tax increase applies to items purchased out of state and brought into Oklahoma, but it's only enforced against businesses.

Vision 2025 bonds to be issued


Saturday's Whirled has a story (starts here, continued here), about the Tulsa County Industrial Authority issuing about $240 million (possibly as high as $275 million) in revenue bonds, borrowing against the additional 13 year sales tax Tulsa County will begin collecting on January 1. According to the story, nearly every Vision 2025 project will receive partial funding. Receiving full funding: parks, community centers, trails, and infrastructure for the American Indian Cultural Center and the Owasso Medical Complex, higher ed projects (except Langston), Morton Health Center. Other projects, including the convention center and arena, will receive partial funding for engineering studies, architectural work, and site acquisition.

The Oklahoma Aquarium "project" is the one item that will be pay as you go, since that project is really just paying down that facilities debt.

Meanwhile, it appears that actual river development is still years away:

The Arkansas River projects are on hold until the results of a first-phase river study, overseen by the Indian Nations Council of Governments, is complete in May.

Jerry Lasker, executive director of INCOG, said the first phase will determine the location of the low-water dams and identify development areas.

The second phase of the river study is due in May 2005 and will provide more details on the course of riverfront development.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Vision 2025 category from November 2003.

Tulsa Vision 2025: October 2003 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Vision 2025: December 2003 is the next archive.

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