Editorial: Tulsa sales taxes are shrinking

Tulsa’s sales tax checks from the state are growing smaller and smaller.

The financial “wizards” at City Hall don’t ever seem to come up with accurate predictions on how much sales tax money will show up.

So, now Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the nine city councilors want to borrow millions of dollars based on scheme to raise what they hope will be $884,100,000.00 in new sales taxes.

That is what the tax increase vote on April 5 is all about.

What happens if Tulsa borrows all these millions and sales continues to decline? How will Tulsa pay off the bonds?

The answer is simple – through higher property taxes.

If sales tax doesn’t cover the bond payments, then the city has to use the “sinking fund” to avoid default and the loss of a credit rating (which means higher interest rates).

The city’s sinking fund is supplied by property taxes.

Smaller sales tax checks could mean higher house payments for hundreds of thousands of Tulsans.

Sales are declining because people are buying more online. And if the state sales tax goes up another penny (that proposal will probably be on the ballot in November), Tulsa will be close to having a 10-percent sales tax. This will further hurt retail sales as consumers buy products in other cities, counties and states.

You wouldn’t buy a car on credit if you knew your income was dropping.

Vote no on April 5.