OKC Major Voices Concern About President's Job Plan At D.C. Conference

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 6:47 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Mayors from all over the country are in the nation's capitol Tuesday, including Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. He told the White House that he supports the President's job creation plan, but not the way it's funded.

Mayor Cornett told the President today that infrastructure projects, like this storm drain repair job, should be a priority.

But the money that is needed for city projects could dry up under the president's plan. The very plan that is intended to put people to work may put a stop to some construction works.

At the heart of the matter is what's called a municipal bond -- money that pays for city improvement projects.

"For Oklahoma City, what we do with our general obligation bonds is we sell bonds to investors," said Craig Freeman, Oklahoma City Finance Director. "The proceeds are then taken and used for making improvements in the city and infrastructure with roads bridges drains those kinds of things."

The President wants to limit tax exemptions on bonds. In turn, fewer people will want to buy them.

That may not mean much to you now until you hit a pothole or see a detour sign.

"It could reduce how quickly we could get projects completed because we couldn't borrow as much," Freeman said.

Decreased bonds means the city will have to look to other sources of income, ultimately, impacting your wallet.

"We could see an increase on property taxes as a result," Freeman said.

Freeman said this is a worst case scenario, and we will all have to wait to see what Congress does with the job plan.

Mayor Cornett is skeptical the President's job plan will pass but said the White House has been much more receptive to hearing city leaders than administrations in the past.