Former OKC City Councilman Files Lawsuit Over MAPS Program

Thursday, September 26th 2019, 6:39 pm
By: Karl Torp

For the first time ever, Oklahoma City's MAPS penny sales tax program is being challenged in court.  

A former city leader is bringing forth the lawsuit, saying the MAPS 4 vote is “unconstitutional.”

In the past, Ed Shadid, a former OKC City councilman, had threatened to sue over MAPS.

On Wednesday, September 25 he officially filed his lawsuit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Shadid claims Mayor David Holt and OKC City Council are violating state law by grouping all 16 MAPS projects into a single vote.

“He is forcing the public to vote for projects they don’t want in order to get projects they desperately want, and he can’t do that,” said Shadid’s attorney Jay Barnett.

Barnett called it “logrolling,” and claimed it violates “single-subject” state tax requirements.

The City sad it won't comment on pending litigation.

However, the legal ramifications of the potential MAPS 4 tax were discussed at a MAPS 4 public meeting in August.

The OKC City Council said it would take the same approach with MAPS 4 as it did with a 2017 general fund tax, which funded more police officers.

“This mechanism that the mayor has explained is completely defensible and would not be a violation of state law,” said Assistant Municipal Counselor Amanda Carpenter in the 4th MAPS 4 public meeting.

On Thursday, September 26 the State Supreme Court ruled to give Oklahoma City 10 days to respond the request for an injunction.

Right now, the MAPS 4 vote is set for December 10.

Read Related Story: OKC City Council Approves MAPS 4 Resolution; Voting Set For December 2019