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  1. #26

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Even in Denver, there are some ideas they've come up with that l just can't agree with. The city is about to the point where they have funding sufficient enough that they are starting to propose some projects l can't support (which doesn't matter because l don't live in Denver proper). To me, when a governmental unit has all the money they need, they start looking to frivelous things to spend on.

  2. #27

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    Even in Denver, there are some ideas they've come up with that l just can't agree with. The city is about to the point where they have funding sufficient enough that they are starting to propose some projects l can't support (which doesn't matter because l don't live in Denver proper). To me, when a governmental unit has all the money they need, they start looking to frivelous things to spend on.
    What are your thoughts (if any) on Denver's struggle to retain their mass transit operators and the forthcoming service cuts that will likely result?

  3. #28

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    Even in Denver, there are some ideas they've come up with that l just can't agree with. The city is about to the point where they have funding sufficient enough that they are starting to propose some projects l can't support (which doesn't matter because l don't live in Denver proper). To me, when a governmental unit has all the money they need, they start looking to frivelous things to spend on.
    Do you mind sharing some of what they’ve come up with that you disagree with?

  4. #29

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Wow! Great article this week in the Oklahoma Gazette with OKC Parks Director Doug Kupper and former City Councilman Pete White explaining how this initiative is different from/complementary to the MAPS/ GO Bond programs and how transformational a Yes Vote for OKC Parks on March 3rd would be for the City's 165 parks.

    https://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/p...nt?oid=6926996

  5. #30

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks



    Last day to register to vote in Oklahoma's presidential primary is Friday
    Oklahomans wanting to cast a ballot in the March 3 presidential primary must register to vote on or before Friday, February 7.

    State Voter Registration Ages

    14 states + DC permit preregistration beginning at 16 years old:
    California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington.

    4 states permit preregistration beginning at 17 years old:
    Maine, Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia.

    5 states set another age at which an individual may preregister:
    Alaska permits those under 18 to register anytime within 90 days before their 18th birthday.

    Georgia, Iowa and Missouri permit registration of those who are 17.5 (if they turn 18 before the next election).

    Texas permits a person who is 17 years and 10 months of age to register.

    26 states do not specifically address an age for registration and instead allow an individual to register if they will turn 18 by the next election (note that this usually refers to the next general election, with some exceptions). In some states this may mean that youth could register as soon as the previous general election is over, so that could be as early as 16 years of age. Reach out to your state election officials for details.
    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    North Dakota does not require individuals to register prior to the election, but to qualify as an elector an individual must be eighteen years or older on Election Day.

    NCSL National Conference of State Legislators: https://www.ncsl.org/research/electi...ng-voters.aspx

  6. #31

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Why wouldn't the city government simply reduce the parks and recreation budget by the amount this tax brings in and reallocate it elsewhere? You know that police and fire unions are going to have their hands out.

  7. #32

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Why wouldn't the city government simply reduce the parks and recreation budget by the amount this tax brings in and reallocate it elsewhere? You know that police and fire unions are going to have their hands out.
    You say the same thing about most the MAPS programs and GOLT bonds.

  8. #33

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    You say the same thing about most the MAPS programs and GOLT bonds.
    Police and fire unions actively campaigned against MAPS I through III. I don't think the GOLT bonds would have made any sense for the unions to go after as the GOLT money was supposed to create 11,000 new jobs, which seems in the long term best interests of the unions.

    I think we're in a different place right now with parks and rec getting a $500K budget cut and having parks considered for closure. If this is an area the council sees as needing cuts, why would they not glom up the parks and rec budget coming from the general fund when they'll have money coming from a dedicated sales tax?

  9. #34

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    ^

    Because citizens would be outraged and it would threaten other votes for GOLT and MAPS.

    The way they had to work around the language of MAPS the city council doesn't have to spend any of the hundreds of millions on the specific projects identified.

  10. #35

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Why wouldn't the city government simply reduce the parks and recreation budget by the amount this tax brings in and reallocate it elsewhere? You know that police and fire unions are going to have their hands out.


    While no initiative petition could dictate the behavior of future city councils in terms of budgetary allocations of the general fund, the ordinance presented to the voters on March 3rd does anticipate this issue (particularly since Parks is generally the first department to be cut in any economic downturn) and attempts to mitigate such a reallocation by prohibiting the funds to be utilized for mowing grass in OKC parks. Mowing grass is the largest line item in the Parks budget (roughly $15 million/year) and the amount is almost exactly equivalent to the amount which would be generated on an annual basis by a 1/8-cent dedicated fund for Parks operations, maintenance and programming. In addition, the petition prohibits the funds from being utilized in parks operated by Non-governmental organizations (in order to maximize transparency of the utilization of public tax dollars) as well as almost all capital expenditures (which was the purview of MAPS/GO BOND programs); these two additional restrictions combined with the restriction on mowing grass would make it virtually impossible to simply reduce the parks/rec budget by the same amount and reallocate it elsewhere. Hope this helps.

  11. #36

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
    While no initiative petition could dictate the behavior of future city councils in terms of budgetary allocations of the general fund, the ordinance presented to the voters on March 3rd does anticipate this issue (particularly since Parks is generally the first department to be cut in any economic downturn) and attempts to mitigate such a reallocation by prohibiting the funds to be utilized for mowing grass in OKC parks. Mowing grass is the largest line item in the Parks budget (roughly $15 million/year) and the amount is almost exactly equivalent to the amount which would be generated on an annual basis by a 1/8-cent dedicated fund for Parks operations, maintenance and programming. In addition, the petition prohibits the funds from being utilized in parks operated by Non-governmental organizations (in order to maximize transparency of the utilization of public tax dollars) as well as almost all capital expenditures (which was the purview of MAPS/GO BOND programs); these two additional restrictions combined with the restriction on mowing grass would make it virtually impossible to simply reduce the parks/rec budget by the same amount and reallocate it elsewhere. Hope this helps.
    Thank you for this info, was going to email my councilperson to ask Midtowner's question and now I don't have to.

  12. #37

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
    While no initiative petition could dictate the behavior of future city councils in terms of budgetary allocations of the general fund, the ordinance presented to the voters on March 3rd does anticipate this issue (particularly since Parks is generally the first department to be cut in any economic downturn) and attempts to mitigate such a reallocation by prohibiting the funds to be utilized for mowing grass in OKC parks. Mowing grass is the largest line item in the Parks budget (roughly $15 million/year) and the amount is almost exactly equivalent to the amount which would be generated on an annual basis by a 1/8-cent dedicated fund for Parks operations, maintenance and programming. In addition, the petition prohibits the funds from being utilized in parks operated by Non-governmental organizations (in order to maximize transparency of the utilization of public tax dollars) as well as almost all capital expenditures (which was the purview of MAPS/GO BOND programs); these two additional restrictions combined with the restriction on mowing grass would make it virtually impossible to simply reduce the parks/rec budget by the same amount and reallocate it elsewhere. Hope this helps.
    Thanks, SoonerDave

  13. #38

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Received this in the mail today:





  14. Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    This is an opinion article by Nancy Anthony in today's Sunday Oklahoman. Anthony is president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
    https://oklahoman.com/article/565616...uality-of-life

    On Tuesday, Oklahoma City voters will decide on a proposed sales tax that would generate about $15 million annually for parks, ensuring all our neighborhoods and communities have safe and accessible green spaces to promote wellness and quality of life.

    This one-eighth-cent sales tax for maintenance and programming would go hand in hand with the millions of dollars voters have already invested in parks. Just last year they approved MAPS 4, which includes $140 million in capital funding for new facilities, such as gardens, basketball and tennis courts and new parks.

    Tuesday's vote could be a shot in the arm for the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, which is funded through a small portion of the city’s general fund, which is also the primary revenue source for police and fire protection, street maintenance and other essential services.

    After considering all those critical needs, it’s easy to see why the city’s parks and recreation programs are underfunded. How underfunded? In 2019, Oklahoma City budgeted $9.5 million for 4,590 acres of parks as well as trails, gardens, aquatic centers, nature centers, athletic facilities and recreation centers. By comparison, Kansas City budgeted $72 million and Fort Worth budgeted $43 million.

    If budgets from peer cities are an indication, health and wellness are a growing priority in this country, and the standard is high because parks are important to everyone. The mom with a stroller. The dog walker. The little league softball player. A group of teens meeting for basketball. An elderly couple walking to stay healthy. The dad watching his son enjoy the playground.

    When properly maintained, these popular public spaces provide a safe activity hub for individuals, families or groups to improve their quality of life. A great neighborhood park is a free and open space that encourages creative play, active lifestyles, rejuvenation and the development of athletic skills. Green spaces also can offer enjoyable, restful places where people can alleviate stress, enhance their well being and improve their quality of life.

    Meanwhile, parks can be good for a community’s economy. Studies show that a well-kept park can increase nearby property values up to 20% because homebuyers prefer houses that are close to green spaces. Therefore, parks improve property values and increase property tax revenue. Parks also decrease health care costs and support productivity by encouraging exercise.

    Once again voters have an opportunity to advance Oklahoma City through a measure that would ensure city parks are well maintained and rich with healthy activities. Are they ready to make another investment? We’ll find out Tuesday.

  15. Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    nm...should have read further back. Thanks foodiefan
    Last edited by Jeepnokc; 03-01-2020 at 11:29 AM. Reason: repetitive question

  16. #41

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    . . see #35 above

  17. #42

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by SEMIweather View Post
    What are your thoughts (if any) on Denver's struggle to retain their mass transit operators and the forthcoming service cuts that will likely result?
    The cuts are already here. According to what is being reported, they currently have such high levels of mandatory overtime, drivers are just quitting for other jobs or moving elsewhere. They simply can't find enough competent, drug free, people to work the necessary hours. Under a previous director, there seemed to be a lot of feelings the driver's were abused and not treated well. A new one just started with getting the necessary drivers as top priority.

  18. #43

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    wait. 100 of 165 parks are underfunded??? 65 parks are fully funded? this is news to me. i would have figured that of underfunded to be much higher.

  19. #44

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnokc View Post
    nm...should have read further back. Thanks foodiefan

  20. #45

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    34 percent of precincts reporting majority of people voting against this initiative, sadly. Hopefully it passes.

  21. #46

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Looks like 53-46 against with 40% of precincts in...

  22. #47

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Not looking good. I was worried about this passing though I think it would be great for the city. Hopefully we’ll be surprised and it’ll pass.

  23. #48

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    Looks like this measure was voted down.

  24. #49

    Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    On the bright side, if this fails to pass (I'm seeing 53-46 with 72% of precincts in now), it probably at least slightly boosts the chances of the RTA vote passing whenever that comes up, and I think that is by far the more important of the two votes. I most likely would have voted for this if I was still living in OKC, but it's not the end of the world that it's probably not going to pass. The RTA vote failing would be an absolute mess.

  25. Default Re: OKC March 3rd election for permanent 1/8 cent dedicated sales tax for parks

    With all precincts reporting:

    Yes: 50,288 (47.19%)
    No: 56,269 (52.80%)

    Interesting side note:

    Absentee and early voting made the election look closer than it really was:

    Yes: 5,291
    No: 3,888


    Actual election-day ballots put the No vote ~7,400 ahead.

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