Council Approves Vision Tulsa Program

ARCHIVED PRESS RELEASE: Published 1-28-2016


City Councilors unanimously approved a final version of the Vision sales tax program to appear on the April 5th ballot.

The program includes three components, which will appear on the ballot as separate items: a permanent sales tax for public safety, a permanent sales tax for transportation and streets, and a 15-year sales tax for economic development. This program will not increase the current overall tax rate of 8.517 percent in the city of Tulsa.

"We've worked relentlessly for more than two years to get this right," Council Chair Jeannie Cue said.

"No single person got everything they wanted, but together, we developed a program that all ten of us, our constituents and the city can be proud of," Cue said.

The public safety sales tax would be at a rate of 0.16 percent from Jan. 1, 2017 to July 1, 2021, when the Improve Our Tulsa sales tax is scheduled to expire, and then at a rate of 0.26 percent permanently thereafter. Over the first 15 years, the tax is projected to generate $202 million for the police department and $70 million for the fire department.

The sales tax for transportation would be at a permanent rate of 0.085 percent starting on Jan. 1, 2017. Over the first 15 years, the tax is projected to generate $45 million for street maintenance and traffic and $57 million for transit operations and capital.

The 15-year sales tax for economic development will begin on Jan. 1, 2017 at a rate of 0.305 percent; on July 1, 2021 - as other city sales taxes expire - the rate will increase to 0.805 percent and will drop to 0.305 percent on July 1, 2025. The measure will fund Arkansas River infrastructure and amenities, and many other projects including: Gilcrease Museum expansion, Cox Business Center and Arena District Master Plan, Tulsa Zoo expansion, BMX Headquarters and a teacher retention, recruitment and training effort for the public school system.

The Vision development process was unprecedented in its public engagement and transparency, which included five citizen-led and three Council-led task forces, more than 100 televised public fact-finding meetings and nearly 30 town hall meetings across the city. If approved, this sales tax program will be overseen by the Citizen Sales Tax Overview Committee.

View the full Vision Tulsa program summary here