Editorial: Buying sales tax increase votes

A well-financed campaign is underway to convince Tulsa votes to approve an $884,634,000.00 increase in sales.

Backed by the chamber which gets millions in city tax money from the hotel tax, the first lie in this campaign is that this “is not a tax increase.”

That is false.

The Vision 2025 county sales tax expires in 2017. Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the nine city councilors are proposing a new sales tax to fill the void from an expiring temporary tax. But to these politicians, no tax should ever be temporary. Taxes are labeled “temporary” to buy votes.

If this is not a tax increase, why do the citizens need to vote on it?

Sales tax is regressive and it has the hardest impact on poor people and especially the elderly who are on fixed incomes.

And as the chamber minions spend tens of thousands of dollars to sell this tax increase, they get much more in favorable publicity from TV stations and radio stations who run their ads. It’s even worse with the liberal newspapers like the liberal Tulsa World.

There is no chance that the public will get a clear picture of how bad this new tax is from the mainstream. They won’t “bite the hand that feeds them.”

The handlers for the mayor and the council carefully picked projects to buy votes, including money for public schools, public universities, museums, private companies (BMX) and minority voters. Most Tulsans want better streets but this package will actually detract from the city’s ability to maintain its decaying infrastructure.

If Tulsa passes this and the one-cent state sales tax passes, Tulsa will have the highest sales tax in the nation. That will kill development and deepen the energy recession.

Ignore the slick TV commercials and vote no on higher taxes on April 5.