On Tuesday, Nov. 12, voters approved the largest capital improvement package in Tulsa history.
Voters largely approved the $918.7 million infrastructure-funding package known as Improve Our Tulsa.
"This marks the largest investment in streets in our City's history and will provide the tools our police and firefighters need to keep Tulsa safe," Councilor G.T. Bynum said. Bynum lead the City Council task force that developed Improve Our Tulsa.
The package was made up of two proposals: Proposition 2, a continuation of 1.1 percent of the current 1.167 percent sales tax, and Proposition 3, a $355 million general obligation bond authorization.
Slightly fewer than 70 percent of voters approved Proposition 2.
Proposition 3 fared a tad better, with about 72 percent of voters approving the measure.
Improve Our Tulsa will fund improvements in public safety equipment, streets, bridges and city facilities.
The package will replace the 2006 Third Penny and the 2008 Fix-Our-Streets programs, which expire in 2014.
Transparency and preparation were central in Improve Our Tulsa's development, as the package went through 50 public meetings and two rounds of town halls over the course of nine months.
"The Council and Mayor Bartlett made a shared commitment a year ago to conduct this process the right way and the end result is going to benefit Tulsans for decades to come," Bynum said.
Proposition 2 extends 1.1 percent of the current 1.167 percent sales tax until $563.7 million is generated for designated capital improvement projects, which is projected to take from six to six-and-a-half years. The City Council included a 'back-stop' in the sales tax ordinance, however, which provides that the sales tax will not extend beyond seven years.
Proposition 3 authorizes general obligation (GO) bonds in the amount of $355 million to fund designated street and bridge improvement projects. GO bonds are municipal bonds secured by the City's pledge to use property tax revenues to repay bond holders.
Proposition No. 2 - Yes: 49, 257 (69.7 percent) No: 21, 394 (30.3 percent)
Proposition No. 3 - Yes: 49, 174 (71.8 percent) No: 19, 270 (28.2 percent)