City Council Votes On Assessment Roll

Thursday, June 4th 2009, 11:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa City Council voted Thursday night on the controversial assessment roll, which would help fund the construction of the downtown baseball stadium.

The assessment roll is considered controversial because not everyone feels their property will benefit from the new ballpark. Their big question is why they should have to pay.

The council was split over the assessment, but five votes were cast in favor and four opposed the ordinance.

There was a large turnout, mostly of those in favor of the assessment roll. Those in attendance all seemed to agree that they are for the ballpark. That wasn't the issue.

Those opposing the assessment roll say the tax increase outweighs the benefit they will get from the new stadium.

"I feel like they've stuck it to me," Marc Price said.

Price owns a business that he doesn't feel will profit from the new ballpark, so he feels he shouldn't have to pay the same fee.

"If you're a couple of blocks from the stadium and you've got a bar or restaurant or something, sure, there may be some benefit, there will be some benefit," Price said. "But there sure won't be for me a mile and quarter on down."

Downtown property owners are convinced the ballpark will make their property values go up.

"I think it's a no-brainer," said Tom Wallace, assessment roll supporter. "This thing is improving property values in all of the city of Tulsa, and it's certainly improving property values in the IDL."

The emergency clause did not pass. That means the city can begin collecting fees from downtown property owners like Price 30 days from today.

"I'm willing to pay some, but I don't feel like I should have to pay the same that somebody a couple blocks from the stadium is paying," he said.

The new district has a flat rate for each property regardless of whether it is a restaurant or a warehouse.

The flat rate will increase 6.5 cents with 4.3 cents going to the new field and 2.2 cents to pay for services like street cleaning and landscape.