Proposed Tulsa Entertainment Tax Draws Support, Fire

Monday, July 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some of Tulsa’s city leaders want to add a two percent tax to the cost of eating out and staying at hotels in the city. The Oklahoma Restaurant Association says people are already paying nearly 8 per cent in taxes now and more tax is just too much.

Supporters say the proposed 20-year tax would help fund a $310 million city development package. Restaurant association members say the tax lasts too long and is too high and they're afraid it will keep people from eating out as often.
Tulsa Mayor Susan Savage says the tax is discretionary. “Those that choose to eat out do so, because they have the means to do it," she said.

However, Craig Bothwell, a board member of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association disagrees. "This whole concept that all restaurant occasions are discretionary is false,” he explained. “Your alternative to eating out is going to the grocery store which isn't subject to the tax."

The tax would apply to restaurants, bars, hotels, motels and fun parks. Supporters of the tax hope to get the question on the November ballot