Merger and a new tax increase
Now that American Airlines and US Airways have announced a merger, the Tulsa chamber wants another crack at a tax increase.
County taxpayers rejected the chamber-backed $748,000,000.00 tax increase last November but that won’t deter the chamber, which loves to subsidize private enterprise with public money.
They are trying to tell the public that the vote failed because American Airlines was in bankruptcy, not because Tulsans are fed up with tax increases at almost every level of government.
By all accounts, the new American Airlines is going to keep its maintenance center in Tulsa for a long time. So there is no urgency to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to “modernize” airport-owned facilities occupied by American Airlines.
The facilities could stand some upgrades but those should be financed on a pay-as-you-go basis with revenues from the leases from the private companies – including American Airlines – that use them.
But the chamber wants to borrow money to benefit banks and bond purchasers and it wants another stab for millions of dollars in a “closing fund” – code language for a slush fund that funnels millions of taxpayer dollars to private companies (corporate welfare).
The chamber was wrong about American Airlines leaving and taxpayers were smart enough to deny the slush fund. But these powerful businessmen are persistent and they have great influence over Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the nine city councilors.
Look for another multi-million tax increase vote and let’s hope Tulsans with common sense will keep saying no.