Sports facilities sales tax fund to be decided

Thursday, February 21st 2008, 12:51 pm
By: News 9

The upcoming vote on a temporary tax to pay for improvements to the Ford Center will decide whether Oklahoma City will be home to the Super Sonics basketball team. The NBA's Seattle Super Sonics have appllied to relocate to the City, an application that will go before the NBA about a month after the March 4 special election.

A "yes" vote would extend the current one-penny sales tax for an additional 12 to 15 months to raise about $100 million for improvements to the Ford Center.  

"Shall Ordinance No. 23,520 of the City of Oklahoma City be approved?"

The Ordinance levies a limited-term excise tax of 1% on the gross proceeds or gross receipts derived from all sales taxable under the sales tax laws of the State of Oklahoma.  The Ordinance states that the tax may be expended only for providing or improving City sports facilities and lists certain sports-facility-related improvements, costs, imtems, articles, expenses, reimbursements, paybacks, and payments that may be funded.  The Ordinance permits funding of a basketball training facility, but provides the training facility shall not be funded unless, prior to June 1, 2009, a National Basketball Association team has executed a lease or other contract to locate in or relocate to the City.  The Ordinance states that expenditures may be commenced; continued, completed or concluded in the order deemed appropriate by the Cuity Council.  The Ordinance creates the "Oklahoma City Sports Facilities Sales Tax Fund.  The Ordinance sets forth the term for the tax, which is a perior of 15 months or 12 months, commencing at 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2009, and ending at either 12:00 a.m. on April 1, 2010 (15 months) if the basketball training facility will be funded, or in the alternative, at 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2010 (12 months) if the basketball training facility will not be funded.  The Ordinance requires that, by not later than June 1, 2009, the City Council shall delcare whether or not the basketball training facility will be funded, with notice of the corresponding ending date for the tax to thereafter be given in writing to the Oklahoma Tax Commission by the City Clerk.  The Ordiance provides for codification and an effective date for certain sections there of if City voters approve the Ordinance prior to January 1, 2009.  The Ordinance declares an emergency.

For the Propisition - Yes

Against the Propisition - No