Oklahoma City tax supporters raise more than $117,000 for the campaign

Friday, December 10th 2004, 5:46 am

By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) More than $117,000 has been donated to a campaign to increase Oklahoma City's hotel tax.

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce has contributed nearly half, $50,000, of the $117,750 raised by the Committee to Improve Oklahoma City's Horse Show Facilities through Nov. 29, The Oklahoman reported.

The company that manages the Oklahoma State Fair contributed $25,000 to the campaign and five others, including The Oklahoma Publishing Co., gave $5,000. 36 donors gave $250 or more.

If voters approve the increase in Tuesday's election, it would fund improvements to State Fair Park's horse barns and incentives to lure conventions to the city.

The chamber was also a key contributor to the MAPS and MAPS for Kids initiatives.

Chamber President Roy Williams said Thursday the $181 million impact that the fair's 15 largest horse shows have on the city's economy is too important to risk losing some of them because of deteriorating horse barns.

``It's comparable to having a significant industry in town that employs about 3,600 people,'' Williams said.

Tim O'Toole, president and general manager of Oklahoma State Fair Inc., said he hopes the campaign will educate voters.

``We're the entity that has the working relationship with our horse show customers,'' O'Toole said. ``We certainly understand the importance of them.''

Other $5,000 donors were BancFirst, Cattlemen's Steakhouse Inc., Clayton I. Bennett and Langston Co.

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