Rep. Watson’s bill to raise taxes?

A bill to let cities raise property taxes by Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa, has passed the Oklahoma House and by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

If passed by the full Senate and signed by the governor, the bill would let cities form “public safety protection districts” that would be funded by up to five mills in increased property taxes. The funds would be used for police, jails and fire protection. Under current state law, property taxes cannot go into the general funds of cities.  Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, is the sponsor in the Senate.

Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel said that Tulsa County has the highest property taxes in Oklahoma. Tulsa and other cities in the state have seen a steady decline in sales tax revenues.

Tulsa area representatives Carol Bush, R-Tulsa; Dale Derby, R-Owasso; Katie Henke, R-Tulsa; Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa; Scott McEachin, R-Tulsa; Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa; Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs; Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa; and Watson voted for the tax hike bill.