The Oklahoma City Council is looking for voter approval on a quarter-cent tax increase in order to hire more police officers and firefighters.
City Council adopted the revised sales tax plan Tuesday and hopes to pump $240 million into streets over 27 months and raise $26 million a year for public safety, The Oklahoman reported.
The plan was developed over a series of workshops, meetings and public hearings over the past several months. The council’s initial proposal was to raise less money for streets without raising taxes.
Adding the quarter-cent increase to the city’s sales tax rate would raise it to just above 4 cents for the first time.
The business community is also proposing to extend the 1-cent Metropolitan Area Projects sales tax for about two years. The money from that extension would go toward rehabbing streets. The MAPS tax was first introduced in 1993 and has been renewed by voters several times.
Voters will make the final decision regarding the proposals in a Sept. 12 election. The measures will be voted on separately.
A 10-year bond package with additional spending on streets, drainage improvements, parks and libraries will also be up for vote in September. The bond package and the MAPS sales tax extension would raise an estimated $785 million for street resurfacing and other improvements over the next decade.
Residents are highly dissatisfied with the condition of the city’s streets, according to the city’s annual community survey.