The Vision 2025 and American Airlines

Wednesday, July 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Vision 2025 tax proposal includes millions of dollars for American Airlines. Some say passing it; will help protect thousands of jobs at American Airlines. Others say it has no guarantees and is corporate welfare. News on 6 anchor Craig Day explains.

Art Rubin is considered the grandfather of the Republican Party in Tulsa. Rubin isn't against all of the sales tax proposals that will be on the September ballot, but he says the timing isn't right and taxes are too high already. “When sales taxes are over 7%, they are too high. I don't think we invite industry into the state with high sales taxes.” The American Airlines proposal doesn't sit well with Rubin either.

If voters give the go ahead, the struggling airline would receive $23-million in tax revenue as an incentive to keep the Tulsa based facility open. “Philosophically, I'm against any type of corporate welfare. I'm against the idea of bribing, in effect, industry to come here." Even though he doesn't like it, Rubin says he'll vote on the sales tax for American to protect local jobs.

Jack Gordon doesn't support the proposal. "I would support the American package if it said on the ballot there would be no more layoffs and no more wage concessions for 13 years. It would be worth $23-million."

“I really think if this part of the bond issue passes, we'll have a head start over everybody else." In an exclusive interview with AMR board member David Boren, I asked about the chances of keeping American in Tulsa, if the sales tax increase doesn't pass. “Does it hinge on this passing? It is hard to say if it hinges, but I don't even want to think about what message it would send if it didn't pass."

Boren expects a decision on the Tulsa American Airlines facility in the weeks following the sales tax vote.

Opponents of the sales tax initiative will hold a rally next week at Wright Elementary.