By Craig Day, The News On 6
UNDATED – There's opposition to the plan to bring Bell's Amusement Park to Wagoner County.
Voters will decide on a quarter cent sales tax increase to fund a development that would include Bell's Amusement Park.
Now a web site called Nobellstax.com is up and running.
When the News On 6 broke this story about Bell's moving to Wagoner County, plenty of people told us how excited they are about it, and how it could benefit the area.
But now, one man says not so fast and not at the expense of taxpayers.
If Bells Amusement Park relocates to Wagoner County, David Tackett would love to ride Zingo again.
"I'm ready with everybody else to jump in line, but let's do it the right way," Tackett said.
Tackett says raising taxes isn't the right way. Voters will decide a 10 year, quarter cent sales tax hike that would pay for a fairgrounds and expo center development with room for Bell's.
"We're in a deep recession right now, the last thing we need is to raise taxes," Tackett said.
Tackett says there's no doubt Wagoner County needs development, but raising the sales tax to make it happen isn't the answer.
"This is whittling away our hard earned tax dollars, especially at a time when we can't afford it," he said.
Tackett is also concerned about the lease agreement between Wagoner county and Bell's. He says there aren't safeguards to keep Bell's from leaving, and he questions the arrangement for Bell's to pay Wagoner County 2% of gross income.
"If you look at the gross income, it says excluding revenue derived from video games, arcade amusements, novelty souvenir items, food and drink concessions, surcharge on gate admissions, and fees in lieu of sales tax," he said. "So I'm trying to figure out what is included?"
Tackett has a website called Nobellstax.com to bring up concerns, rally opposition, and spread the message "Yes to Zingo, No to Corporate Welfare."
"Whether it's $68,000 or $68 million, corporate welfare is corporate welfare," he said.
Tackett thinks the county rushed into the agreement without enough study, and didn't give people enough of a chance to have a say.
"I would love to see Zingo coming, I would love to ride it," he said. "But we've got to do it right."
That sales tax election is set for July 27th.