Tulsa City Council Says No To Mayor's Idea To Redirect Sales Tax - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa City Council Says No To Mayor's Idea To Redirect Sales Tax Money

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The Tulsa City Council all but shot down Mayor Dewey Bartlett's proposal to divert a city sales tax from capital needs to general expenses. The Tulsa City Council all but shot down Mayor Dewey Bartlett's proposal to divert a city sales tax from capital needs to general expenses.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa City Council all but shot down Mayor Dewey Bartlett's proposal to divert a city sales tax from capital needs to general expenses.

Bartlett had asked the council to let voters decide whether an existing tax should be redirected, but the council voted to plan on continuing to use it for capital needs.

The city has a 0.167% sales tax that generates more than $12 million per year, and comes up for renewal every five years. The money is now used for road repairs, but the mayor wants the money used largely for public safety salaries instead.

6/17/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor Wants Voters To Decide: Spend On Streets Or Public Safety?

In the debate, Councilor G.T. Bynum asked "What capital projects are you going to de-fund with that $65 million?"

Bartlett responded by saying the regular street bond – that could top $800 million dollars – would more than make up for the losses.

The Council, in a vote on the framework of an upcoming bond issue, decided to consider the tax as part of the bond instead of carving it out.

Bartlett objected, but was unable to sway the council, calling it a "missed opportunity" to ensure the city will have money in future years to pay salaries for new police officers and firefighters.

While two Councilors consoled Bartlett by saying his proposal could be revived, Councilor Blake Ewing was blunt: "Today the Council said ‘This is not going to happen.'"

The City Council and mayor will have public meetings in the coming weeks to explain the bond package and take public input.

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