State Treasurer backs Vision 2025 proposals

Thursday, August 28th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State Treasurer Robert Butkin said Thursday he strongly supports an $885 million economic development plan headed for a vote in Tulsa on Sept. 9.

Butkin, who makes his home in Tulsa with his wife and two children, said the plan ``is the kind of sensible, targeted public investment that should be supported across party lines by voters.''

``There is too much at stake for the future of Tulsa for anyone to remain neutral'' on the project, the state official said.

He said he was disappointed that leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Tulsa County had refused to take a stand.

Passage of the four-proposition package, he said, ``will enable us to attract high paying jobs to the aviation industry, to strengthen our higher education and public school systems, to make quality health care more accessible, to bring more research dollars to our community and to improve our infrastructure.''

``Those communities that emerge as leaders are those that are willing to invest in tough times to ensure a brighter future down the road,'' Butkin said.

One proposition provides $350.3 million to fund research centers and capital improvements for higher education institutions, materials for common education, improvements to Expo Square and the Tulsa Convention Center, a new events arena, and a new health clinic.

Another contains $157.4 million for 23 projects, including new community centers, funding for the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. It also would fund enhancements to Route 66 and projects to enhance streets and trails.

The other two propositions are incentives packages to lure a new Boeing plant and help American Airlines make capital improvements at its Tulsa maintenance base.

The proposals would be financed by a 1-cent sales tax increase for 13 years.