Getting Behind The River Tax

Friday, September 14th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

Supporters of the Arkansas River development tax are working to show the impact it will have on the business community. On Friday some small business owners were told the tax would pay off for them by raising sales taxes by 40 cents for every $100 spent. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports the higher sales tax could discourage some purchases, but overall many business owners think it would help them and the city.

In the race to build support for the project, Tulsa's mayor has practically memorized the presentation on the virtues of developing the river.

"This plan puts water in the river and it's hard to convince somebody you have a river when there is no water in the river," Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said.

On Friday, a rally was held to convince small business owners that river development would help them make money.

"It's going to wake up the city, it's going to revitalize the city and it's going to attract and keep young people in Tulsa," said Dave Grimm, Chamber Small Business Council.

The backers of the plan point to artist renderings as some of the possibilities of what Tulsa could have along the river. All of the pictures are concepts, not actual plans, but they mirror the kind of river development that's already happening in Jenks, which supporters say is proof that making the shoreline ready for development is a good investment.

"The country is watching what Tulsa does and there are investment people wanting to come in, and if we turn this down they're going to go elsewhere, possibly back down the road to Oklahoma City and invest more there," said river development supporter John Zimmerman.

According to the chamber's research, the new lakes on the river would spur business all over town. They say the charitable donations, like a concept of a river trail bridge over Crow Creek, only add to the value.

"I think we're all interested in growing Tulsa, and when you grow Tulsa, you bring people permanently and we all benefit when you grow in that regard," Chamber Economist Robert Ball said.

The vote is October 9th on the river development tax.

Watch the video: River Tax Supporters Try To Rally Local Business Owners

WEB EXTRA: Mayor Says Vote Yes

For additional information visit the sites below.

Related stories:

2/9/2007 Record Donation Aids Expansion Of River Parks Trail

6/20/2007 River Development Plans

6/21/2007 New Plans For Arkansas River Development

7/17/2007 River Development Reaches Another Landmark

7/18/2007 River Developments Hinges On Vote Of The People

7/18/2007 Arkansas River Development Plan Announced

7/19/2007 Campaign Planned To Push River Development

7/20/2007 River Development Plan Similar To One Already Passed

7/26/2007 City Councilor Has A New Plan To Pay For River Development

7/29/2007 Explaining Development Along The Arkansas River

7/30/2007 River Tax Debate Continues

7/31/2007 River Plan Not Popular With Tulsa County Residents

7/31/2007 River Plan Reactions

8/9/2007 River Development Plans Move Ahead

8/21/2007 River Tax Groups Turn To The Internet For Support

8/22/2007 Republican Group Against Arkansas River Tax

9/4/2007 Our River Yes Kicks Off River Development Campaign

9/5/2007 People For And Against River Tax Begin Campaigns

9/6/2007 Groups Battling For Votes On Arkansas River Tax

9/8/2007 North Tulsa Residents Rally Against River Tax

9/9/2007 - River Tax Supporters Face Upstream Battle

9/13/2007 Rock The River Looks For Your Vote With Entertainment