Oklahoma City sales tax passes; model for Wichita

On Tuesday, voters in Oklahoma City passed a new sales tax to fund downtown improvements. It passed by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent.

The tax will be used to fund improvements such as a 70-acre downtown park ($130 million), a new convention center ($280 million), mass transit initiatives ($130 million), health and wellness aquatic centers for senior citizens ($50 million), and other things.

The tax was promoted as not really a “new” tax, as it is timed to replace an existing tax of the same amount that is expiring.

Wichita’s plans for downtown revitalization will need some sort of funding, and the Oklahoma City tax — its name is MAPS 3 — has been promoted by John Rolfe, President and CEO of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, as “interesting.” Other downtown leaders have spoken favorably of a sales tax for funding downtown improvements.

Wichitans can count on a similar sales tax being proposed for whatever projects the year-long downtown planning process calls for. Oklahoma City’s experience will surely be used to promote a similar tax in Wichita.


5 thoughts on “Oklahoma City sales tax passes; model for Wichita”

  1. We were also told that we could count on our arena sales tax never ending. Many guaranteed and promised that we would never stop collecting it.

  2. I would not be supportive of a city-wide or county-wide sales tax to support downtown improvements. See Bob, I think you and I would agree on this one. :)

  3. The extra tax I had to pay was not a burden for me.
    The problem with the area is that we put all of our money (300 million) in one thing. Think of all the things we could have gotten to improve the quality of life of all citizens with that money. This arena was a tax on the poor for the benefit of the rich.

  4. I resent the added sales tax;it does hurt everyone,especially those on a fixed income.
    Kansas taxes food,one of only 14 states that does so !!!
    I am buying big ticket items before the tax goes into effect,the legislators that voted in new taxes should be voted OUT,the waste and fraud in Kansas government
    (And the foolish president still thinks we can prosper by spending more money we don’t have)

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