Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 24, 2008

Officials detail proposed school bond issue, sales tax

According to school and city officials, both proposals are a continuation of similar plans set to expire soon.

(Continued)

TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS —

Nichols supports the measure, but was hesitant at first.

“We’ve had on-going negotiations on what the split would be,” he said. “At first I opposed it, but am warming to the idea.”

Dr. John Yeutter, associate professor of accounting at Northeastern State University, is concerned some schools within the city limits may be left out of funding considerations.

“One major concern that I have abut this proposed sales tax is that there are three school districts, and not only one, within the city of Tahlequah,” said Yeutter. “There is a current half-penny sales tax enacted several years ago to be ‘used solely for the purposes of the acquisition, construction, furnishing, equipping, and financing of education facilities attended by students residing within the corporate limits of the city of Tahlequah.’ This half-penny sales tax totals about $1.3 million per year. To be fair, the sales tax from Tahlequah citizens who live in Grand View or Briggs school districts should go to those schools, and the city should properly apportion those funds among these three districts. As far as I can tell, all of the funds collected by [the current] tax are being sent to the Tahlequah Public School system, and none to the Grand View or Briggs school districts.”

According to Goodsell, should the new tax proposal pass, both Grand View and Briggs Schools will share $200,000 of the $3.2 million, as both schools have students enrolled who live within the city limits. The amount was determined by the number of students each school has enrolled who live within Tahlequah City limits.

Goodsell enlisted a committee of approximately 30 to 40 school patrons, administrators and teachers to help determine the immediate needs for the district.

“And the list is really open-ended,” he said. “We want as much input as possible. If you want to sign up to be part of the committee, give me a call, we’d be happy to have you.”

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