My 2 Cents: MAPS 3 Penny Sales Tax Extension Goes To The Voters

Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

On Sept. 12, Oklahoma City voters will go to the polls to vote yes or no on an extension of the MAPS 3 sales tax.   

Usually it's a pretty easy sell to the voters, but this one concerns me, and I'm one of the biggest fans of MAPS. 

Since 1992, when then Mayor Ron Norick dreamed up the temporary one cent sales tax, MAPS has lead to a renaissance in Oklahoma City and a boom downtown. 

MAPS 1 captured the imagination of voters with the canal, the ballpark and new arena. 

MAPS 2 was about rebuilding schools. 

MAPS 3 brought a one-of-a-kind rapids course on the river, soon a new downtown central park. 

But the next 27 month extension of the penny tax voters will be asked to approve will be to rehabilitate streets and sidewalks, street lights.  

Who doesn't expect the City to pay for those things anyway?

Some City leaders argue they don't have the money to pay for the needed street repairs because internet sales have reduced the City's sales tax collections. 

But the MAPS tax was created to build unique capital projects most cities can only dream of and debt free to boot.

Muddying the water with making it about general city maintenance is risky for future MAPS dreams.   

They're casting this as MAPS for Neighborhoods. 

From the beginning, MAPS has been about capturing the voters' imagination AND momentum so I'll be curious to see how they sell it to us voters. 
I'm Kelly Ogle and that's MY 2 Cents.