River Tax Package Includes A Rebate
Tulsa County voters go to the polls on Tuesday to decide the fate of the four-tenths of a cent tax hike for development along the Arkansas River. For weeks now, the News On 6 has provided extensive coverage of both sides of the issue. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports included in the package is a sales tax rebate.
There's been plenty of debate over the pros and cons of the plan, by supporters and opponents. But, some undecided voters may not know about the $25 a year sales tax rebate portion of the question.
"What I think is different about this one is that it includes a rebate provision both for seniors and for working families with incomes below $50,000 yearly," said Steven Dow with the Community Action Project.
The Community Action Project is an agency that studies the impact of local policies on poverty. Executive Director Steven Dow says they looked at the River Tax.
"Sales taxes tend to be a fairly regressive form of taxation and hit low to moderate income people the hardest," said CAP's Steven Dow.
But the group's study found with a rebate to senior citizens 65 and older, and to families making $50,000 a year or less, the impact would be minimal.
The river tax rebate is very similar to one offered to Tulsa County voters during Vision 2025, which was a tax passed by Tulsa County voters back in 2003. That package also included a rebate for senior citizens. But Vision 2025 didn't include a low-income provision. Under the Vision 2025 rebate, those who qualify can get $18 annually.
The Tulsa County Treasurer's Office says they rebated $398,000 in Vision taxes this year to 22,000 households.