Paying for Tulsa's proposed Vision plan

Tuesday, July 1st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's Vision package is set at $885 million. It would add a penny to the sales tax for 13 years. But what does that mean for you. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the sales tax is something we all pay - with every dollar we spend.

It can raise millions - in this case nearly a billion dollars, a penny at the time. One cent might seem almost worthless - but the penny is a powerful monetary tool. A penny sales tax adds up fast - a penny for every dollar spent. Politicians like it because it's a tax that many people forget - a penny either way doesn't matter to them.

Downtown worker, David Comerford, "8 cents, 9 cents, you really don't notice it when you're at the register, it's just what that one cent goes towards." The Vision plan would turn those pennies into powerful incentives for business - and pay for public improvements countywide.

In Tulsa - the current sales tax is 7.917%. 4.5% goes to the state, the city gets 3%, and the county gets the rest - less than half a cent for every dollar spent. The Vision tax would add another penny. Another downtown worker, Monica Bobbitt, “I think if everybody came together it wouldn’t be that much of an increase, you put a penny in you might get ten pennies back maybe.”

Even though no one likes new sales taxes, some said they would be willing to pay it if they like the list of Vision projects. Downtown worker, Casey Alderman, “it's going to benefit us, there should be no complaints. Eventually the city is going to see it, in parks, or swimming pools, recreation for the kids.”

The extra penny in sales tax would average about $80 per person per year - but it depends entirely on what a person buys and how much they spend. For some it's a lot, for most it's a little - but over time - it's enough to pay for the Vision plan - one penny at the time.

It takes a lot of pennies to add up to that kind of money. In fact - that many pennies – 88.5-billion of them - would fill 432 school buses.

Everything you might want to know about the penny and so much more, click on MegaPenny Project.