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KOTV - 9/5/2007 9:00 PM - Updated 9/6/2007 3:08 PM

People For And Against River Tax Begin Campaigns

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Campaigns for and against the river tax get rolling. Tulsa's Mayor launched the Our River Yes campaign Wednesday in Midtown Tulsa, while the movement against the river tax gets started in earnest Thursday. The News On 6's Ashli Sims talked to both sides. She reports the Arkansas River runs through two very different campaigns, and this week both will kick into high gear, stumping for your vote.

It's not your typical campaign sign. One Tulsa business owner is offering a bounty for signs against the Arkansas River tax.

"Didn't see anybody at $2, but $5 kinda got them out of the bushes," said American Automart owner Steve Kirkpatrick.

Long time Tulsa resident Steve Kirkpatrick hopes it gets his point across.

"I think, I agree that it's the opportunity of a lifetime and they're people that are really stepping to the plate and we need to step with them," he said.

Kirkpatrick is joining the mayor's call to say Yes to our river.

"The citizens of Tulsa County have one choice, and the choice is to look to the future, to look to what is right to have the courage to say Yes on October 9th," Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said.

That's when Tulsa County voters will head to the polls to vote on a 4/10ths of a cent sales tax to develop the river. The money would pay for more low water dams, pedestrian bridges, and open the door for commercial development along the river.

Private companies have already pledged $117 million to the project.

"There is nothing in this river tax that Owasso or Collinsville or Sperry, we would not directly benefit from that money leaving our community," said State Senator Randy Brogdon.

State Senator Randy Brogdon has come out against the river tax, and he believes public sentiment is on his side.

"There has already been polling done that shows a very large percentage of the people in Tulsa County do not support this tax," Brogdon said. "So, I think that it will be defeated, and our effort will be a grassroots effort."

Steve Kirkpatrick, the man offering the $5 bounty for the No River Tax signs, says he's not asking people to break the law. He says you shouldn't take the signs from private property, just those in the right of ways.

The Anti-River Tax campaign will hold several press conferences Thursday, and they've already scheduled a rally for this weekend.

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