View Full Version : MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.



Pages : [1] 2

OkieDave
03-15-2017, 08:08 PM
newsok.com/shadid-proposes-sales-tax-cut-shift-in-focus-for-maps/article/5541705 (http://newsok.com/shadid-proposes-sales-tax-cut-shift-in-focus-for-maps/article/5541705)

Shadid proposes sales tax cut, shift in focus for MAPS
William Crum by William Crum Published: March 15, 2017 12:00 AM CDT

Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid on Tuesday proposed a sales tax cut, along with bulking up police and fire services, while refocusing MAPS on restoring city services.

Shadid said a quarter-cent should be carved out of the 1-cent MAPS sales tax to "give a tax deduction to the people. They deserve it."

He advocated dedicating another quarter-cent to hire more police officers and firefighters.

City services have been degraded as Oklahoma City has endured an 18-month economic slump and sales tax shortfalls have led to budget cuts, Shadid said.

"We all agree that we need a couple hundred more police officers," he said at Tuesday's city council meeting. "We're never going to get them at this rate."

Mayor Mick Cornett said he wants to wait on the "conversation" on the future of MAPS until after the April 4 election, when a new council member will be selected from Ward 4.

You might also be interested in...

Meet four Oklahoma City mayoral hopefulsOKC BOXSCORE FOR MARCH 13OKC puts naming park in residents' hands
Show more
"I have some ideas on that," Cornett said.

Shadid's proposal includes renewing the MAPS 3 sales tax at half the current 1-cent rate, with a term of two to four years and focus on day-to-day services "police, potholes and parks."

Downtown OKC: Read more about what's going on downtown.
Public employee unions, including police and fire, have reviewed the idea, as have advocates for transit and MAPS 4 Neighborhoods, Shadid said.

"At a minimum, everybody's very open to the idea and eager to continue the conversation," he said.

"I think that it has the potential to create the kind of coalitions that previous MAPS have brought together."

Voters would have the final say on whether to extend or renew MAPS should the city council put a proposal on the ballot.

Presently, the MAPS sales tax is to expire Dec. 31 when collections for MAPS 3 end.

A departure

Shadid's idea is a departure from previous Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS, programs.

First approved by voters in the 1990s and renewed several times since, the 1-cent sales tax has been reserved for capital projects.

Those have included the Bricktown ballpark and canal, public school renovations, and the upcoming MAPS 3 convention center.

While MAPS projects open debt-free, they in some cases add ongoing costs for operations and maintenance that must be absorbed by the city's general fund.

Shadid often expresses concern about how the city will manage expenses for the MAPS 3 convention center, streetcar and park without diminishing other services.

The city negotiates private-public partnerships to manage some MAPS projects, such as the MAPS 3 whitewater park and the MAPS 3 senior health and wellness centers.

Tax comparison

The city manager has ordered spending reductions in the past year, with non-public safety departments ordered to plan for an additional 4 percent reduction for fiscal 2018.

"We're getting past where efficiencies can make up the difference," Shadid said.

He said his research showed Oklahoma City's sales tax is low compared to other cities.

Leaving aside the 1-cent MAPS sales tax, Oklahoma City collects 2.875 percent.

Two cents goes to the general fund and three-quarters of a cent to public safety. The zoo gets the rest.

By comparison, Shadid said, Norman collects 4 cents. Lawton and Enid collect more than 4 cents, while Tulsa collects just over 3.5 cents.

Shadid said there had been no increase in the general fund's share of the sales tax since 1976. An "artificially low" rate has impeded the city's ability to provide services, he said.

State law limits cities to sales tax for financing services such as police and fire protection.

'A win-win'

While the rate has been steady, sales tax revenue has grown over the years though it has contracted during the current economic downturn.

The 1-cent MAPS 3 sales tax brings in around $100 million per year.

Redistributing it as Shadid proposes would return about $25 million to taxpayers and reserve $25 million for police and fire.

With renewal of MAPS, $50 million would be directed to day-to-day services.

Increasing the Public Works Department's budget would enable the city, for example, to do more street resurfacing projects, in more neighborhoods spread across the city, Shadid said.

"That's a win-win," he said.

OkieDave
03-15-2017, 08:45 PM
A half cent increase in the general fund budget would represent a 25% increase in department budgets across the board that is 50 million a year to transform the city. What services do you think should be a priority?

stile99
03-16-2017, 06:07 AM
So they're flat out admitting it now? Who was it on here that said OKC has been artificially keeping the sales tax low so they could keep MAPS going, and that was at the cost of basic services? Cause you get a gold star.

Ross MacLochness
03-16-2017, 08:11 AM
A half cent increase in the general fund budget would represent a 25% increase in department budgets across the board that is 50 million a year to transform the city. What services do you think should be a priority?

infrastructure maintenance and Police/fire/city staff wages

Pete
03-16-2017, 08:14 AM
So they're flat out admitting it now? Who was it on here that said OKC has been artificially keeping the sales tax low so they could keep MAPS going, and that was at the cost of basic services? Cause you get a gold star.

I've been making that point for years.

OKC's overall sales tax is below average in the state WITH a full penny for MAPS, which means the city has been collecting less sales tax as a percentage for a long time.

Sales tax is the primary source of income for OKC and it has not been raised since 1976, except for MAPS.

Pete
03-16-2017, 08:16 AM
BTW, since overall sales tax collections were overestimated for the last year or so, there have been several budget cuts across the board in OKC services.

And in June, they are set to be cut again.

You cannot cut yourself into prosperity.

We never have enough money whether the economy is good or bad. Because we aren't collecting enough.

Mike_M
03-16-2017, 11:16 AM
I always felt like Shadid made valid points, but with just bad timing. It was a good strategy for Mick to focus MAPS programs mostly on drawing 20-somethings back to OKC (Edit: aesthetics/entertainment/recreation/etc...). I've heard more good things about visiting OKC in the last 5 years than I probably ever heard previously in my lifetime. At this point there's probably more than enough momentum for our entertainment districts to thrive without all the MAPS money being pumped in.

I think it would be perfect timing for the next few waves of MAPS to really focus on infrastructure, schools, and safety. I know that if the city made real efforts to improve those areas, you'd see tons of positive movement from those of us former 20-somethings.

bombermwc
03-17-2017, 06:53 AM
I would argue very much against this because the idea what taxes are kept low to make room for MAPS, isn't a bad thing. Look at most cities around the country. They dont do things like MAPs and they often aren't able to do projects like what we've done with MAPS...or if they do, it's a smaller scale and with a high debt burden. What we've been able to do is nothing less than a miracle to transform our city. And we're debt free for it too. What we have, is an opportunity. We can take the next MAPs and, as Mike_M says, direct it towards infrastructure. It's not sexy, but i think most people realize that it's overdue. Hell, how many water main issues have you had in the last 5 years? There's only so much that can be reasonably be done, but we can make a huge dent. And getting some REAL road work done on the city roads is a good start. Get those danged traffic studies done so we can control time our lights better instead of having all these islands that dont work together.

In terms of what MAPs could do for safety, we need to look at fire stations. Are they in the right location with current population? Do we have enough? Let's start planning to disban EMSA and get the Ambulance fleet into the fire stations. The police stations have had their time and are far better set than Fire. What sort of traffic control can we install to assist with the flow of emergency vehicles? Any "stuff" either department NEEDS (not just wants). Dont want to see the city pulling a John Whetsel and buying a bunch of crap only to have it sit and need normal funding to keep it going.

Be cautious on people because you CANNOT use MAPS to fund anything for people. Salaries/Pension/etc CANNOT use this. It's not a sustained revenue stream. Just like Bond Issues....they buy things, not people.

Spartan
03-18-2017, 10:22 AM
BTW, since overall sales tax collections were overestimated for the last year or so, there have been several budget cuts across the board in OKC services.

And in June, they are set to be cut again.

You cannot cut yourself into prosperity.

We never have enough money whether the economy is good or bad. Because we aren't collecting enough.

We're incredibly limited by the state constitution in terms of revenue streams.

That said, I think OKC also has some duplication of government that solving could also free up operational funding. What bothers me is that Shadid is talking about more funding for police which I think is already pretty well-funded. I want to hear ideas about the jail, which I'm certain Shadid would be the only candidate with a fiscally conservative idea or plan.

I think eliminating the steady stream of quality of life upgrades from MAPS will turn us into Tulsa. Oklahoma as a state is not performing economically well enough to support growth without a major boost from a progressive city. The Tulsa area has pretty much stopped growing.

Pete
03-18-2017, 10:51 AM
^

But there aren't any obvious big projects in the queue. Name a few for MAPS 4...

The only thing that comes to mind are parks, sidewalks and trails. And those should be funded through the on-going budget anyway.


MAPS served its purpose and was never meant to run forever.

And time to stop having taxpayers fund things like a new state fair arena or the inevitable expansion of the convention center. Those things are always pitched with promise of all the great revenue they will generate and should be funded through those sources.

MAPS, like TIF, is meant to be a jump-start and at some point private investment and revenue generation takes over. It seems like that time has come.

Laramie
03-18-2017, 12:27 PM
City's General Fund:

OKC is underfunded for a city of its size (631,346 est., 2015)

We should make the MAPS III extension a permanent tax (for General Fund) to allow the city to take on the needed upgrades & services (Police, fire, infrastructure, streets & walks) to improve our city.

Allow the Zoo to continue its 1/8 cent permanent tax for its capital improvements budget.

stile99
03-18-2017, 12:47 PM
And time to stop having taxpayers fund things like a new state fair arena or the inevitable expansion of the convention center. Those things are always pitched with promise of all the great revenue they will generate and should be funded through those sources.

I think people are starting to come to that realization. Yukon just had the sports complex vote and what I heard from everyone leading up to it is "if it's going to bring in so much money in sales taxes, why should it be funded via property tax instead of sales tax"? Yukon's response to that was the very common refrain (because it's true) that sales tax revenue is down.

The vote wasn't even close. They couldn't even cough up 1000 yes votes. Which begs the question, was it the sports center that was so overwhelmingly voted down, or the property tax? While obviously not everyone who voted no was asked, I've seen articles that said some people voted no because they didn't want only City of Yukon property owners to foot the bill.

As you say, people are starting to get tired of funding these things with the promise of how lucrative they will be, but then when asked why can't they pay for themselves, oh no, that's just not possible.

Spartan
03-18-2017, 07:08 PM
^

But there aren't any obvious big projects in the queue. Name a few for MAPS 4...

The only thing that comes to mind are parks, sidewalks and trails. And those should be funded through the on-going budget anyway.


MAPS served its purpose and was never meant to run forever.

And time to stop having taxpayers fund things like a new state fair arena or the inevitable expansion of the convention center. Those things are always pitched with promise of all the great revenue they will generate and should be funded through those sources.

MAPS, like TIF, is meant to be a jump-start and at some point private investment and revenue generation takes over. It seems like that time has come.

That's the problem with MAPS, is that it's just a grab bag for the Chamber and CVB to get some new toys, rather than a source for legitimate infrastructure needs like transit, trails, bike lanes, and all the other things that OKC does NOT have. The sad thing is that OKC doesn't really have that much to be complacent about.

So either way, you're left with a choice between more toys for the OCPD/Sheriff and a new jail, or more toys for the Fairgrounds, and probably no more transit for the time being.

mugofbeer
03-18-2017, 07:45 PM
with the number of murders per capita in OKC, more money for cops should simply mean more cops. More cops to be around crime hotspots and more cops hassling known gangs but also more cops getting to know the people.

Pete
03-19-2017, 08:00 AM
Keep in mind, we already have a vehicle for paying for infrastructure: general obligation bonds.

MAPS was meant for big, shiny, one-off impact projects to get some momentum going. We've been taxing ourselves at the expense of basic services (artificially keeping sales tax low to accommodate MAPS) for over 30 years now and MAPS has served its purpose very well.


Living here now for 1.5 years after living in a half dozen different communities over the last 25 years has brought into sharp focus how badly OKC lacks in terms of basic service and maintenance.

In fact, yesterday I rode my bike and walked about 20 miles through OKC and when you go at that pace you can't help but see amount of trash, cigarette butts, horrible condition of sidewalks or complete absence, weeds, lousy roads, horribly marked streets and almost zero civic code enforcement (cars parked on lawns, trash piled up in yards, etc., etc.

And of course that whole distance I didn't see a bus stop or dedicated bike lane.

If it had been night, I'm sure I would be railing on the lack of lighting and the maintenance of what is there.

I love the big, sexy projects as much or more than anyone but we need to turn our focus to maintaining and improving what we already have.

OKCRT
03-19-2017, 09:29 AM
with the number of murders per capita in OKC, more money for cops should simply mean more cops. More cops to be around crime hotspots and more cops hassling known gangs but also more cops getting to know the people.

More cops to give out tickets will be their cash cow.

Spartan
03-19-2017, 02:23 PM
Keep in mind, we already have a vehicle for paying for infrastructure: general obligation bonds.

MAPS was meant for big, shiny, one-off impact projects to get some momentum going. We've been taxing ourselves at the expense of basic services (artificially keeping sales tax low to accommodate MAPS) for over 30 years now and MAPS has served its purpose very well.


Living here now for 1.5 years after living in a half dozen different communities over the last 25 years has brought into sharp focus how badly OKC lacks in terms of basic service and maintenance.

In fact, yesterday I rode my bike and walked about 20 miles through OKC and when you go at that pace you can't help but see amount of trash, cigarette butts, horrible condition of sidewalks or complete absence, weeds, lousy roads, horribly marked streets and almost zero civic code enforcement (cars parked on lawns, trash piled up in yards, etc., etc.

And of course that whole distance I didn't see a bus stop or dedicated bike lane.

If it had been night, I'm sure I would be railing on the lack of lighting and the maintenance of what is there.

I love the big, sexy projects as much or more than anyone but we need to turn our focus to maintaining and improving what we already have.

We are not going to use GO Bonds for anything other than major infrastructure for the fringe and peanuts for the inner core. That's just the way it is, which is already unfolding with this upcoming bond issue.

You're not going to get granular details like citywide bus stops and real bike lanes because that only comes from actually caring about those things. The big sexy projects are easier for OKC bc they pique the city's interest for just long enough to do something meaningful. I have zero hope for OKC to actually adopt quality of life as a priority in everyday decision making, planning, and implementation.

David Greenwell is the only councilman who has shown an enduring commitment to those principals. Meg Salyer only wants what her chamber donors want, Ed only wants what's good for his political goals (not a bad thing), Petit only wants what's good for his community (not a bad thing), and the rest just want the status quo. Greenwell seems to be the only one actually caring about these details. None of the mayoral candidates besides Shadid are even remotely interested in bike lanes, walkability, bus service, community development, affordable housing, quality of life, outdoor recreation and activity, public health, and that whole spectrum of progressive values.

It's just not going to happen without logrolling the things citizens want with the things the chamber wants, and doing it under the banner of quality of life, even if it is a lie. MAPS is the only way OKC is ever going to meaningfully do anything ever again for public realm, mass transit and quality of life.

Pete
03-19-2017, 02:36 PM
We are not going to use GO Bonds for anything other than major infrastructure for the fringe and peanuts for the inner core. That's just the way it is, which is already unfolding with this upcoming bond issue.

That's not true. The GO bond that was last issued in 2007 included projects throughout OKC and a bunch in the core.

And the reason more isn't spent in the core is due to MAPS, with the huge majority of its projects being in or near downtown.

People forget the Myriad (now Cox Center) was built with GO bonds and so was the Myriad Gardens, which later received upgrades from at least 2 subsequent bond issues.

Spartan
03-19-2017, 02:42 PM
Those good things were built with GO Bonds back when there were federal matching opportunities like UDAG (70s 80s) and the now suddenly defunct CDBG.

Those are also the peanuts. Vast majority of the 2007 GO Bond was spent on widening every road north of Quail Springs and all around Mustang and Moore.

Pete
03-19-2017, 02:42 PM
Also, there is a strong argument to be made that much of what has been covered in the big GO bond issues were maintenance items that should be covered under the city's operating budget.

But because we keep our sales tax low to accommodate MAPS, these things get pushed to the GO bond.

Spartan
03-19-2017, 03:02 PM
100% true, not that I'm the sole judge of that lol.

emtefury
03-19-2017, 03:33 PM
Is Shadid proposing this as a council member or saying this is what he wants to propose as Mayor? He is on the council now so what is he waiting for to propose and vote on as a council member? Am I missing something?

Pete
03-19-2017, 03:39 PM
Is Shadid proposing this as a council member or saying this is what he wants to propose as Mayor? He is on the council now so what is he waiting for to propose and vote on as a council member? Am I missing something?

As a councilman.

He has not declared candidacy for mayor.

OkieDave
03-19-2017, 09:48 PM
We are not going to use GO Bonds for anything other than major infrastructure for the fringe and peanuts for the inner core. That's just the way it is, which is already unfolding with this upcoming bond issue.

You're not going to get granular details like citywide bus stops and real bike lanes because that only comes from actually caring about those things. The big sexy projects are easier for OKC bc they pique the city's interest for just long enough to do something meaningful. I have zero hope for OKC to actually adopt quality of life as a priority in everyday decision making, planning, and implementation.

David Greenwell is the only councilman who has shown an enduring commitment to those principals. Meg Salyer only wants what her chamber donors want, Ed only wants what's good for his political goals (not a bad thing), Petit only wants what's good for his community (not a bad thing), and the rest just want the status quo. Greenwell seems to be the only one actually caring about these details. None of the mayoral candidates besides Shadid are even remotely interested in bike lanes, walkability, bus service, community development, affordable housing, quality of life, outdoor recreation and activity, public health, and that whole spectrum of progressive values.

It's just not going to happen without logrolling the things citizens want with the things the chamber wants, and doing it under the banner of quality of life, even if it is a lie. MAPS is the only way OKC is ever going to meaningfully do anything ever again for public realm, mass transit and quality of life.

Actually $75 million of the 2007 Bond was set aside for "economic development" and they will try to get a similar amount passed in this September's bond election.

OkieDave
03-19-2017, 09:52 PM
emtefury: The GO Bond election is in September and if one wanted to continue the MAPS tax when it expires in December, one would have to put the measure on the ballot in September as well. In other words, long before the February 2018 Mayor's election.

Pete
03-20-2017, 06:19 AM
Actually $75 million of the 2007 Bond was set aside for "economic development" and they will try to get a similar amount passed in this September's bond election.

This is the money that goes to employers for job creation.

And it's pretty controversial. Giving companies like Chesapeake money for creating jobs with no claw-back when they then lay off hundreds.

Or continuing to pay Continental for jobs they were going to create anyway.

Laramie
03-20-2017, 09:48 AM
This is the money that goes to employers for job creation.

And it's pretty controversial. Giving companies like Chesapeake money for creating jobs with no claw-back when they then lay off hundreds.

Or continuing to pay Continental for jobs they were going to create anyway.

Money assistance for job creation programs paid to corporations & companies need to receive their money in increments as jobs are added. Many of these companies are going to create jobs or layoff workers regardless of any incentive programs as Pete cited. Major concern is when they take the money then begin layoffs a few years after the jobs created were added--there should be some kind of years guaranteed attached to the longevity on the jobs created .

It's not like OKC hasn't been down this road before when the United Airlines Maintenance Center bid was awarded to Indianapolis because of Quality of Life issues when OKC submitted a better bid than Indy or the construction/implementation of the General Motors Plant (1979 - 2005); roughly 26 years of operation.

OKC needs to continue with a plan to improve the quality of life aspect improvements of our community.

Spartan
03-21-2017, 09:22 PM
Roughly 25 years after that United Airlines incentive bid, OKC is still more interested in making incentive deals than continuing to invest in quality of life.

bradh
03-22-2017, 07:43 AM
Roughly 25 years after that United Airlines incentive bid, OKC is still more interested in making incentive deals than continuing to invest in quality of life.

Speaking as someone who has actually lived here for the past 8 years, I'd say the quality of life in OKC has greatly improved in my short time here. Still room for improvement too.

Zorba
03-27-2017, 10:54 PM
Trails and good parks will never be built without something like MAPS or private donations. Maybe it is time to reduce MAPS to 1/2 cent, and increase the general budget tax by 1/2 cent. But to completely get rid of MAPS would stop almost all quality of life improvements in the city. Hopefully, Amazon starting to charge sales tax will have a positive impact on sales tax collection as well.

Spartan
03-30-2017, 07:30 PM
Speaking as someone who has actually lived here for the past 8 years, I'd say the quality of life in OKC has greatly improved in my short time here. Still room for improvement too.

The problem is the lag between funding projects and actually building them, and placing them in service. In OKC it's extended by the city's relatively low bond load, as MAPS pays cash after revenue is collected. Most cities pay later for things they build now.

OkieDave
03-30-2017, 09:00 PM
Trails and good parks will never be built without something like MAPS or private donations. Maybe it is time to reduce MAPS to 1/2 cent, and increase the general budget tax by 1/2 cent. But to completely get rid of MAPS would stop almost all quality of life improvements in the city. Hopefully, Amazon starting to charge sales tax will have a positive impact on sales tax collection as well.

This seems like a reasonable compromise. 1/2 cent for operations and maintenance in the general fund would be $50 million/year and 1/2 cent for MAPS capital improvements would be $50 million/year. Could get a lot done with that.

catcherinthewry
03-31-2017, 07:13 AM
Most cities pay later for things they build now.

And thus most cities incur debt. I like that our MAPS projects are debt free. Delayed gratification is a concept that is difficult for some to embrace.

bradh
03-31-2017, 08:33 AM
The problem is the lag between funding projects and actually building them, and placing them in service. In OKC it's extended by the city's relatively low bond load, as MAPS pays cash after revenue is collected. Most cities pay later for things they build now.

Fair enough, pluses and minuses to that for sure. Where I 100% agree with what you're saying is with ODOT. The last 8 years has been such a missed opportunity for ODOT, with it never being cheaper than it is/was to borrow money.

Spartan
03-31-2017, 11:33 PM
And thus most cities incur debt. I like that our MAPS projects are debt free. Delayed gratification is a concept that is difficult for some to embrace.

For you and I that's great. But it's not a rewarding public finance strategy.

Midtowner
04-01-2017, 05:46 PM
For you and I that's great. But it's not a rewarding public finance strategy.

Money used to pay interest builds nothing.

Laramie
04-01-2017, 07:22 PM
Our city needs to continue the MAPS brand aimed at capital improvements. We need to shorten the time collected on these projects to 3-4 years maximum; target 5 or less projects with one major project.

MAP I - 10 years to complete. Most projects are close to 20 year completion cycle.

Some of our original MAPS projects will probably need minor funding upgrades of $5 - $25 million like the Civic Center Music Hall, Bricktown Ballpark, Chesapeake Arena and the 3 original dams (Eastern, Western & May Avenues).

Four (4) year collection plan:


One major project: $300 million.
Two major projects: $150 million each.
Three major projects: $100 million each.

MAPS generates about $100 million a year; this would allow $400 million in 4 years with $300 million allocated to a major project or projects & $100 million to spruce up minor projects.

OkieDave
04-01-2017, 09:40 PM
Our city needs to continue the MAPS brand aimed at capital improvements. We need to shorten the time collected on these projects to 3-4 years maximum; target 5 or less projects with one major project.

MAP I - 10 years to complete. Most projects are close to 20 year completion cycle.

Some of our original MAPS projects will probably need minor funding upgrades of $5 - $25 million like the Civic Center Music Hall, Bricktown Ballpark, Chesapeake Arena and the 3 original dams (Eastern, Western & May Avenues).

Four (4) year collection plan:


One major project: $300 million.
Two major projects: $150 million each.
Three major projects: $100 million each.

MAPS generates about $100 million a year; this would allow $400 million in 4 years with $300 million allocated to a major project or projects & $100 million to spruce up minor projects.

Why? Why not put these items on the General Obligation Bond? The City has not had a problem passing GO Bonds. In fact while the MAPS3 vote was close (54%-46%) all 8 of the GO BOND votes in 2007 passed by supermajorities (>75% I think). Why continue to starve all city departments and services to OKC citizens?

Midtowner
04-02-2017, 12:03 PM
Why? Why not put these items on the General Obligation Bond? The City has not had a problem passing GO Bonds. In fact while the MAPS3 vote was close (54%-46%) all 8 of the GO BOND votes in 2007 passed by supermajorities (>75% I think). Why continue to starve all city departments and services to OKC citizens?

City departments will always be "starved." Give them any amount of money and they'll still need more. The latest Annual Report I could find was 2015. It shows that the public is overwhelmingly satisfied with emergency services.

https://www.okc.gov/home/showdocument?id=1704

Our emergency services are there to provide public safety. It seems they do a fine job of that. What is the argument for cutting the one thing which has transformed this city? The one thing which was the catalyst for a once blighted downtown and surrounding area seeing billions in investment?

Passing bond issues for projects we used to pay cash for instead of continuing a successful model which is the envy of similarly situated cities seems very counterintuitive. In the end, doesn't that just leave us with more public employees we didn't really need and paying interest for things we used to not pay interest for?

Spartan
04-02-2017, 03:44 PM
Money used to pay interest builds nothing.

I know you're smart enough to distinguish between a smart personal finance strategy and that of a major city with one of the top bond ratings. The interest that OKC would theoretically pay is so negligible that it's wiped away by the time value of money (2% inflation and some other factors), which is a MASSIVE hit when we pay in 2009 for things we don't get until 2020.

Then if you assume the project in question is actually a good economic development investment, there's another lost financial return. Luckily we don't structure MAPS projects to actually pay for themselves. Previously I think it's been managed well as a public philanthropic program for a city that lacks old money - but simply bonding these things out from the beginning and then using the MAPS revenue to pay down a separate class of bonds would be cheaper, faster, and smarter in the end.

We absolutely did just that with P180, which was the only thing that saved that cluster in the end. Could you imagine the implementation delays if they actually waited for Devon Tower to generate $180 million in ad valorem revenue for area improvements? It would have never happened. There would be no crosswalks for us to gripe about poor quality finish, then what would we talk about on here?

Spartan
04-02-2017, 03:49 PM
Why? Why not put these items on the General Obligation Bond? The City has not had a problem passing GO Bonds. In fact while the MAPS3 vote was close (54%-46%) all 8 of the GO BOND votes in 2007 passed by supermajorities (>75% I think). Why continue to starve all city departments and services to OKC citizens?

There's no reason for OKC to not match the top tax rates in the state. That's a pretty standard practice for all larger cities in a single state. Council seems to be the only people deliberately choosing for us to implement MAPS projects and service austerity at the same time.

In fact I think that the timing for municipal tax increases may be right on point with the state in kamikaze mode and the federal government gearing up to starve cities and scorch the earth all around them.

We just saw a wave of muni income tax increases in OH and PA after the GOP powers that be severely cut state funds for cities here. It's hard to ask large, growing cities to do more with less in the hyper-competitive environment we have today, which is probably why OH/PA cities have gotten hammered with surprising population losses in just the last five years - even Pittsburgh, which saw some fleeting growth for a while. Stop investing, fall behind, simple as that.

ChrisHayes
04-03-2017, 06:39 AM
I'm not big on the idea of using MAPS 4 to fund city services. Each of the MAPS has been a temporary deal and then a new one is phased in. What would they do, make it permanent? You can't just temporarily fund city services. I'd much rather see MAPS 4 be all about infrastructure improvements around the city. Now, when it comes to city services, just do a regular municipal tax increase to fund said services.

OkieDave
04-03-2017, 07:03 AM
I'm not big on the idea of using MAPS 4 to fund city services. Each of the MAPS has been a temporary deal and then a new one is phased in. What would they do, make it permanent? You can't just temporarily fund city services. I'd much rather see MAPS 4 be all about infrastructure improvements around the city. Now, when it comes to city services, just do a regular municipal tax increase to fund said services.

What is a "regular municipal tax increase"? Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. which restricts access to property tax for city services. Which is why using sales tax for capital expenditures, when the legislature intended for property tax to fund the bulk of capital expenditures, cannot continue indefinitely. The MAPS tax has been in place for 24 years; is that a temporary tax? GO Bonds have the same sort of sunset that the MAPS tax does in that they are 7-10 year programs that then require checking back in with the voters for new packages.

Laramie
04-03-2017, 09:14 AM
City departments will always be "starved." Give them any amount of money and they'll still need more. The latest Annual Report I could find was 2015. It shows that the public is overwhelmingly satisfied with emergency services.

https://www.okc.gov/home/showdocument?id=1704

Our emergency services are there to provide public safety. It seems they do a fine job of that. What is the argument for cutting the one thing which has transformed this city? The one thing which was the catalyst for a once blighted downtown and surrounding area seeing billions in investment?

Passing bond issues for projects we used to pay cash for instead of continuing a successful model which is the envy of similarly situated cities seems very counterintuitive. In the end, doesn't that just leave us with more public employees we didn't really need and paying interest for things we used to not pay interest for?

This is what I feel is a feather in OKC's cap. These projects are debt free because you have this financial funding engine that 'pay-as-you go' sort to speak; at the same time you pass bonds for other capital improvement projects that keeps the city's credit in good standing with the rating services.

Citizens will have to make it clear what they want included in these projects. We send our representatives to council to determine any needs that the city may have with the larger projects that will impact our city's quality-of-life and profile.

shawnw
04-03-2017, 09:24 AM
When I worked at Tinker, the defacto government definition of "temporary" was "not planned permanent".

Laramie
04-03-2017, 10:02 AM
When I worked at Tinker, the defacto government definition of "temporary" was "not planned permanent".

Agree with your temporary vs. permanent tax; however the voters still have the decision if the extensions to the various MAPS projects have merit in that a new round of capital improvement needs are the focus. The sales tax does put this all on the property owners; others get to help pay for capital improvement needs. Oklahoma City & Tulsa (Vision 2025) gets that.

Prior to MAPS & BONDS; OKC was the pure 'PITS' of a city, a flyover that didn't know it was being flown over. Our overall quality of life has improved as well as the cosmetic appearance of our city. You're seeing more areas cleaned-up; whereas in the past, the dead dump was left to bury the dead itself.

Making MAPS a permanent tax per se would take the 'perceived input' away from the tax payers as it does address some capital improvement issues. OKC will need to address underground infrastructure which in most cases will affect the crumbling & aging deterioration of many cities.

shawnw
04-03-2017, 10:08 AM
You don't have to convince me, I'm in favor of a citizen-voted (but repealable by vote as well) permanent quality of life tax to replace the MAPS, but that would operate largely the same way.

warreng88
04-18-2017, 08:29 PM
OKC officials consider new MAPS sales tax, bonds

By: Brian Brus The Journal Record April 18, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – Faced with the impending expiration of the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax, Oklahoma City officials Tuesday started looking more closely at replacing it with another tax.

The MAPS 3 sales tax ends at the end of 2017.

The proposal would supplant the penny now in place for Metropolitan Area Projects work including a new convention center and downtown park with another cent for operations and capital projects. A portion of the new tax would be temporary, generating $180 million to $210 million for capital projects before it ends in 27 months, but another portion of the penny would be permanent, generating $30 million to $60 million for city operations over the same period.

Councilman Ed Shadid said it could be a mistake to ask voters to approve such a measure at the same time they’re considering a massive general obligation bond issue worth $410 million to $1.4 billion. The GO bond must be approved first, he said, calling the paired questions a ruse to hide a new tax.

Councilwoman Meg Salyer and City Manager Jim Couch said they were offended by Shadid’s reference to a ruse. Because the tax proposed by Mayor Mick Cornett would be of equal value to the MAPS 3 tax, it would simply be a continuation, Salyer said. Councilman David Greenwell said he predicts the sales tax will be supported by the public.

The special council budgeting session was intended to focus on which projects need to be part of the GO bond issue.

Once priorities are set, council members and city staff will be in a better position to determine how much the city can afford to pay over the next several years.

In Oklahoma, the annual tax bill property owners receive from the county assessor’s office represents the total of all property taxes levied by the county, city, local school districts and other special districts. Property tax levies are defined in units called mills: $1 for each $1,000 of assessed value, or $0.001 per $1.

At one end of a range of possible scenarios, the city could sell debt worth $410 million at a repayment period of five years at a taxpayer cost of 16 mills. At the other end of the spectrum, voters might be asked to approve $1.4 billion in debt to be repaid in 10 years at a cost of 20 mills.

City Hall’s targeted levy level for many years has been an average of 16 mills. Salyer said she felt comfortable with that figure, as did fellow councilmen John Pettis Jr. and James Greiner.

The GO bond issue will come up for a citywide vote in December. It is a regular feature of municipal government in Oklahoma, necessary for funding projects such as street repairs, police station buildings and rainwater drainage systems for several years at a time.

A plurality of survey respondents in the city, 42 percent, said they would prefer a five-year payoff term for the next GO bond, followed by 33 percent at seven years and 25 percent at 10 years.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they favored or were somewhat in favor of a 2-percent increase to property taxes to fund more projects.

City staff members sorted through about 1,700 projects and tried to match them to resident priorities revealed by the survey. The top item by far was work on streets, bridges and traffic control, followed by parks and recreation facilities, sidewalks and trails, police and firefighting equipment and emergency response facilities.

The preliminary list also suggests several million dollars for economic development.

The City Council was not scheduled to act on the information Tuesday. They will hold more meetings to provide direction for city staff members to whittle down the list to match the GO bond issue budget so that voters can decide before the end of the year.

During the meeting, Shadid offered to donate a poll – pay for the cost of conducting it – to confirm that residents are ready to vote on the tax issue as well or risk defeating the GO bond out of confusion. He referred to the tax as a MAPS-like placeholder backed by the chamber of commerce until MAPS 4 is designed.

gopokes88
04-18-2017, 08:37 PM
Shadid is just the worst.

Plutonic Panda
04-18-2017, 09:27 PM
Why? He is a great guy who wants to see the city succeed. He asks questions that are completely valid that makes sense. Oklahoma is a conservative state and conservatives are generally against new taxes. Is it the smartest thing in the world to ask them to approve a potentially 1.4 billion dollar bond issue on top of a MAPS extension and permanent addition of a sales tax increase?

Me personally I'd vote for both of them, but be realistic here. It's not wrong to bring up questions of whether or not this thing will be supported.

shawnw
04-19-2017, 08:45 AM
Except the mayor agrees with him now (regarding using part of MAPS tax for non-capital projects), which shocked and disappointed me.

http://newsok.com/article/5545846/

benjico
04-19-2017, 10:40 AM
Our streets are in terrible shape and are not accommodating to pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation. It's not a sexy proposal, but it is a step to help those seeking a healthy lifestyle or those in poor financial situations limiting their automobile use. I also think quality of life improvements such as the stadium could have a great impact on our city. My mind isn't made up on where I stand on MAPS 4, but welcome the debate and discussions that will occur this summer in preparation for the vote.

shawnw
04-19-2017, 10:49 AM
But a bond issue larger than any MAPS proposal ever made is about to get voted on.... and it's supposed to deal significantly with streets....

Laramie
04-19-2017, 12:35 PM
The city needs to address the decaying streets & infrastructure. If we want to make our city an attractive place--that's a good place to start.

Oklahoma City will be a different place come 2020.

shawnw
04-19-2017, 12:54 PM
I agree but GOOOOOOO bondsssssssss

NOT MAPS, IMO

Plutonic Panda
04-19-2017, 04:15 PM
Yes, they need to pass the GoBonds and then worry about MAPS in 2018 and then maybe a sales tax increase in 2019. A new sales tax will also be needed for the RTA. Plus the state needs to jack up the fuel tax considerably. A lot of new taxes are going to proposed. It isn't a good idea to shove them all together.

DoctorTaco
04-20-2017, 08:31 AM
There is recent movement from the State Legislature to allow cities to use property tax for operational expenses related to public safety. This is a change because (at least to my understanding) cities in Oklahoma can only use property tax $$ for capital projects not for operations. http://www.kjrh.com/news/state/new-property-tax-could-fund-public-safety-in-oklahoma

The pressure behind this seems to be coming from Tulsa. I am wondering why OKC isn't on this bandwagon as well? I've heard Cornett talk about how hard it is in Oklahoma where cities can't get at property taxes for operations.

This new bill could alleviate the need for that 0.25% sales tax allocation, no? And doing so would preserve MAPS as, well, MAPS.

Pete
05-30-2017, 12:09 PM
Press release from the city:



05/30/2017

Sales tax, bond proposals would invest $1.1B in Oklahoma City; Proposed vote is Sept. 12

More than $1.1 billion in funding for streets, police, firefighters and other basic needs and an annual injection of $26 million for day-to-day operations are included in sales tax and bond proposals under consideration by the Oklahoma City Council.

The proposals, which are subject to voter approval, represent an opportunity for Oklahoma City residents to build a safer and better community through critical investments in their future without raising sales tax and property tax rates.

“These are targeted investments in the infrastructure and services our residents depend on, and it's in a package that doesn't raise taxes from the same level they've been for decades,” said Mayor Mick Cornett.

There are three basic components: a permanent cent sales tax and temporary cent sales tax to replace the expiring MAPS 3 sales tax, and a general obligation bond package to succeed the almost-complete 2007 bond program.

The Council set a public hearing on the proposals for June 13, with a Council vote June 20.

Pending approval by the Council, a vote for all Oklahoma City voters would follow on Sept. 12.

General obligation bond package
The largest component is a $967 million general obligation bond package, which uses property tax revenue to fund basic infrastructure needs. The package would succeed the $835.5 million package approved in 2007, which is almost complete.

More than half the funds – about $491 million – are dedicated to building and rebuilding streets across Oklahoma City, including sidewalk and bike lane projects.

Streets are perennially a top concern among Oklahoma City residents, which is reflected in the size of the investment included in the bond package. An additional $28 million for traffic control and $27 million for bridges is also included.

A proposed investment of about $138 million for parks and recreation facilities includes new parks and improvements to regional and neighborhood parks across the City.

Also proposed is $62 million for drainage control, $60 million in economic and community development funding, $45 million for firefighting facilities and $31 million for police facilities.

Rounding out the proposed bond package is $24 million for libraries, $20 million for transit, $20 million for the Civic Center complex, $13 million for City maintenance facilities and $9 million for the downtown arena.

Under the proposal, the City millage rate for property taxes would remain the same as it has since the 1980s.

Click here to see the full project list.

Permanent cent sales tax
The MAPS 3 penny sales tax expires at the end of the year. Under this proposal, as of Jan. 1, of the expiring penny would be permanently reinvested in the City’s General Fund. About two thirds of the General Fund goes to public safety services, with the rest paying for other basic services like animal control, parks and transit.

Included in the proposal is a statement of intent from the Council to use the funds to pay for hiring additional police officers, staffing two additional fire stations and bringing an idled fire engine back into service. The funds would also allow the Council to reverse the cutbacks to other critical services included in recent budgets.

The permanent cent sales tax would add an estimated $26 million per year to the General Fund.

Because it would replace part of an expiring tax, the City’s sales tax rate wouldn’t go up from the rate it has been since the early 1990s.

Temporary cent sales tax
The final component would replace the rest of the expiring MAPS 3 sales tax with a temporary cent sales tax to help continue catching up on a complete and safe street network for all Oklahoma City residents.

Over 27 months, the temporary sales tax is projected to generate $180 million in revenue for better and safer streets, sidewalks and trails for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The proposal calls for $126 million for street resurfacing, plus $18 million for streetscapes, $9 million for trails, $9 million for bicycle infrastructure and $18 million for sidewalks.

The debt-free projects will create smooth and safe streets for drivers, on-street amenities for recreational and commuting cyclists, and streetscapes that protect pedestrians and enhance opportunities for economic development.

Like the proposed permanent cent sales tax, the cent temporary sales tax would replace part of an expiring tax. Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate wouldn’t go up from where it has been since the early 1990s.

Sept. 12 vote proposed
The Council is scheduled to vote on the proposals June 20, including to set a proposed election date of Sept. 12.

All Oklahoma City voters would be eligible to participate in the election.

The proposals will be presented on the ballot separately: One item for the cent permanent sales tax, one item for the cent temporary sales tax, and one item for each of the bond projects.

Plutonic Panda
05-30-2017, 03:15 PM
Is this for MAPS 4 or GoBond? I didn't quite see a figure in the amount of money generated by MAPS 4 or if it was only a temporary extension of MAPS 3. I thought MAPS 4 was going to be for roads also and voted on later this year.

Pete
05-30-2017, 03:19 PM
Is this for MAPS 4 or GoBond? I didn't quite see a figure in the amount of money generated by MAPS 4 or if it was only a temporary extension of MAPS 3. I thought MAPS 4 was going to be for roads also and voted on later this year.

For both.

That press release has all the info you seek.