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Thread: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

  1. #1

    Default MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

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    "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."

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    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.

  2. #2

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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?

  3. #3

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  4. #4

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
    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

  5. #5

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by stile99 View Post
    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.

  6. #6

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  7. #7

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  8. Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  9. #9

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    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.

  10. #10

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    ^

    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.

  11. #11

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  12. #12

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    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.

  13. #13

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    ^

    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.

  14. Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  15. #15

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  16. #16

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    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.

  17. #17

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    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.

  18. #18

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    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.

  19. #19

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  20. #20

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

  21. #21

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    100% true, not that I'm the sole judge of that lol.

  22. #22

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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?

  23. #23

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by emtefury View Post
    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.

  24. #24

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    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.

  25. #25

    Default Re: MAPS 4 Plan? Shadid proposes shift in focus to fund city services.

    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.

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