|Updated: 3/11 9:25 am
||Published: 3/08 8:13 pm
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett is ready to take some of your tax money and move it to the public safety and road improvement sector permanently.
He will ask Tulsa City Councilors to approve a plan that would make a temporary capital improvement sales tax a permanent tax that would generate $12 million annually for those projects.
“It's .167% of one cent. It’s a small amount,” Mayor Bartlett told FOX23 Friday.
The Mayor believes the permanent tax would allow TPD to grow its force to around 850 officers twice as fast as without the tax. He also says the Tulsa Fire Department would be able to hold more academies and get firefighters to more areas of the city, but one city councilor, who will help decide this proposal's fate, is not ready to sign off on it yet.
“It could be a great idea, but I need to see something in black and white to show my constituents, to explain in detail,” District 2 Councilor Jeannie Cue said.
Mayor Bartlett is confident councilors will be on his side soon and put his plan on the November ballot.
“We plan on having a meeting with the councilors on Tuesday afternoon, and we will be providing them with hopefully a lot of detail,” Bartlett said.
Councilor Cue knows one detail she has questions about already.
“We need make sure whatever plan we go with, we put officers on the street.”
City streets would also get upgraded if this plan passes.
“Our street system has not been maintained for many, many years, and we're now paying the price
He says in years past, down economies meant certain projects, like street repair, got moved to the back burner.
“We need to know that we will have a consistent source of money to pay for people, in house, to make sure our streets are in good repair,” Bartlett said.
City councilors will decide if the mayor's plan makes it on the November ballot, but they know that something has to be done with our streets.
“We've got to continue improving them, when we stop, that's when our roads deteriorate and we still have a long ways to go.”
Some Tulsans seem ready to support the Mayor’s plan.
“If it is something we're already paying, it's not more out of pocket, I wouldn't see why not,” Brittani Vagher told FOX23.
If approved, the permanent tax would go into effect in 2014.