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Oklahoma City voters say no to parks sales tax

Post Date:03/03/2020 9:54 PM

Oklahoma City voters said no to a new 1/8-cent sales tax for parks in Tuesday’s initiative petition election.

The election was triggered by a resident’s initiative petition, which required the City Council to put the issue on a citywide ballot. The Finance Department estimated the tax would have provided an additional $15 million in annual OKC Parks funding.

All election results are unofficial until certified by the Oklahoma County Election Board.

Background

The election was not proposed by City Council. A resident started the initiative petition, which was filed in December at City Hall with 7,977 signatures. The City Clerk and Municipal Counselor verified the number of legally sufficient signatures from Oklahoma City voters surpassed the 6,499 needed to trigger an election. The City Council was required by law to put the issue on a citywide ballot.

The sales tax would have been similar to the ¾-cent sales tax dedicated to public safety (primarily the Police and Fire departments), and the 1/8-cent sales tax dedicated to the Oklahoma City Zoo. Voters approved those taxes in 1989 and 1990 after initiative petitions in 1989.

The rest of the permanent Oklahoma City sales tax is for day-to-day operations from the General Fund, most of which is for public safety services. There’s also the temporary penny sales tax funding Better Streets, Safer City projects until March 31, and MAPS 4 for eight years beginning April 1.

Learn more about sales tax in Oklahoma City at okc.gov/tax.

Media Contact
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550
kristy.yager@okc.gov

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