Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 22, 2012

Mayor hosting tax proposal forum

Tahlequah — Tahlequah city officials are holding a public meeting Tuesday evening to share their ideas and gather others for a capital improvement proposal.

Mayor Jason Nichols said the city has already been gathering a list of ideas from residents and city employees.

“It’s very important for the people to have a say in what ultimately ends up in this proposal, which is why it’s so important that we have this meeting, and that we’ve also been gathering feedback on Facebook and from strategic-planning meetings held last year,” said Nichols.

The mayor said several suggestions provided to the city are already in the works, but the list of needs outpaces available funding.

“We want to go to the people with a list of these projects and ask them for a sales tax to fund these needs,” said Nichols.

Nichols said the sales-tax proposal would likely be for 3/4 of a cent, which would enable the city to tackle as many projects as possible.

With a 3/4-cent sales tax, taxpayers would pay an additional 75 cents for every $100 spent on taxable sales in the city.

“We’ve been doing a lot of development internally for this project,” said Nichols.

“We’d like to put the project to voters early next year; we’re trying to aim for a January vote.”

Nichols said he will share with attendees Tuesday night the projects that have already been addressed by other funding sources; projects proposed by other residents or through last year’s strategic planning meetings; and then give those in attendance time to make suggested additions or removals.

Public suggestions so far have included a civic center for concerts and banquets; a playground for toddlers; continued sidewalk expansion; right-turn lanes for city intersections; an underground shelter; and street improvements.

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