Ideas 4 MAPS FAQs

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What is MAPS?

The MAPS programs are capital improvement programs to improve our quality of life, funded by a series of temporary penny sales taxes. The first began with the original MAPS vote in December 1993. It originally stood for Metropolitan Area Projects, but is now known simply as MAPS. Every time someone buys something in Oklahoma City, one penny for every dollar spent goes to the MAPS program. Each program has been overseen by a volunteer board of advisors, which make recommendations to the City Council.

What’s the history of MAPS?

Voters have approved three MAPS programs so far: the original MAPS in 1993, MAPS for Kids in 2001 and MAPS 3 in 2009. There have been other uses for all or part of the same penny traditionally used for the MAPS programs – including part of the current Better Streets, Safer City program – but only those three have been official MAPS initiatives.

It all started in the late 1980s, when civic leaders were jolted by an airline’s choice of another city for a maintenance hub because its employees didn’t want to live in Oklahoma City. In response, residents chose to make OKC a better place to live.

The original MAPS program funded the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Bricktown Canal, Cox Covention Center, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Civic Center Music Hall, improvements to State Fair Park, the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, the Oklahoma River and Oklahoma Spirit Trolleys. It raised $309 million, plus an extra $54 million in interest also used to fund construction. The original MAPS also had a use tax, which was deposited into a maintenance fund for the projects.

MAPS for Kids funded improvements to every public school serving students from Oklahoma City, including 70 new or renovated school buildings. Of the $700 million raised by the program, about $470 million was used for construction projects, $52 million for technology projects, $9 million for bus fleet replacement and $153 million for projects in 23 suburban districts serving OKC students.

MAPS 3 is still in the construction phase, with some projects already finished. It raised about $805 million, well above the anticipated $777 million because of Oklahoma City’s strong economy. Its projects are Scissortail Park, RIVERSPORT Rapids and other Oklahoma River improvements, the Bennett Event Center at State Fair Park, the OKC Streetcar, Senior Health & Wellness Centers, the new Convention Center, trails and sidewalks. The MAPS 3 use tax is used to replace equipment for the Police and Fire departments.

MAPS 3 sales tax collections ended Dec. 31, 2017. The temporary penny sales tax for Better Streets, Safer City took effect Jan. 1, 2018, and ends March 31, 2020.

Would MAPS 4 increase my taxes?

No. It would keep the sales tax rate the same as it is now.

How does MAPS fit in to the City government’s role?

In Oklahoma City, voters have chosen repeatedly to have an extra, temporary penny added to City sales tax to fund MAPS projects and make our community a better place to live. Because it’s a voter-approved, temporary tax on top of what residents already pay for services, it doesn’t take money away from schools, streets and other important things.

Cities in Oklahoma fund public services like police and fire protection, drinking water, streets, animal welfare, code enforcement, transit and parks. The State of Oklahoma and U.S. governments fund other public services like schools and highways.

In Oklahoma, city governments have two primary sources of revenue: sales tax and property tax. Property tax can be used for infrastructure investments like streets and parks. Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. where cities may only use sales tax for day-to-day operations. Sales tax can also be used for capital projects like MAPS.

How does OKC’s sales tax compare to other cities?

Oklahoma City’s overall sales tax rate, which would stay the same under MAPS 4, is 8.625 percent (8.975 percent in Canadian County and 8.875 percent in Cleveland County, because of county sales taxes). Of that, 4.125 percent belongs to the City. The rest belongs to the state or county.

Overall sales tax rates in other metro cities:

  • 9.85 percent in Piedmont
  • 9.1 percent in Midwest City
  • 8.85 percent in Mustang
  • 8.85 percent in Yukon
  • 8.75 percent in Norman
  • 8.5 percent in Bethany
  • 8.25 percent in Edmond

Where do sales tax dollars go in OKC?

Sales_Tax_Graphic-WebThe City's share of the sales tax rate is 4.125 percent – a little more than 4 cents per dollar. About half (2 1/4 cents) goes to the General Fund, which pays for day-to-day operations. Most of the General Fund goes to public safety (Police and Fire), with the rest to other services. An additional 3/4 of a cent is permanently dedicated to public safety. Then 1/8 of a cent goes to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The last penny is the one historically used for the series of temporary penny sales taxes, like the MAPS programs and the current Better Streets, Safer City program.

Learn more at okc.gov/tax.

The rest of the overall sales tax rate in Oklahoma City goes to the state (and to the county in Cleveland and Canadian counties, which have county sales tax). 

Is there a temporary penny sales tax now?

Yes. Sales tax collections began Jan. 1, 2018, for Better Streets, Safer City. Collections started the day after the MAPS 3 penny sales tax expired.

The Better Streets, Safer City penny sales tax ends on March 31, 2020.

The temporary sales tax portion of Better Streets, Safer City has $168 million for street resurfacing, $24 million for streetscapes, $24 million for sidewalks, $12 million for trails and $12 million for bicycle infrastructure. Better Streets, Safer City also includes an additional $967 million for infrastructure in a bond program, plus a permanent ¼ cent sales tax for operations (primarily to hire more police officers and firefighters).

How can I stay updated?

Sign up for email updates here, and be sure to select News or MAPS 4 as a category.

How do I submit my idea for MAPS 4?

Here on ideas4maps.com, on social media using the hashtag #ideas4maps or in a letter to Mayor David Holt, Attn: MAPS 4, 200 N Walker Ave. third floor, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

More questions?

Contact the City of Oklahoma City’s Public Information and Marketing Office: