Tulsans are taxed too much; vote no on ‘Vision Forever’

Doesn’t it seem that bad things happen in three’s?

For the third time in eight years, the Tax Promoters are coming back for your money.

Patient. Cunning. Insatiable. Relentless. Well financed.

These Tax Promoters tried previously in 2007, with the River Tax 1.0, promoted by Mayor Kathy Taylor, Commissioner Randi Miller, and oil baron/big banker George Kaiser.

In 2012, just three months before the presidential election, Mayor Bartlett and his Tax Eater allies announced another River Tax, along with $100,000,000’s in corporate welfare, through early renewal of Vision 2.0.


Now, Bartlett and his allies are back again, with their Vision Forever city Sales Tax.

They’ve cobbled together dissimilar tax issues: river dams; “economic development” for their connected cronies; and, a permanent police tax. Their goal: hoping parts attractive to some voters will help them overcome taxpayer resistance to ever higher taxes, while enriching “their few” while “our many” must sacrifice.

Even without the Vision Forever tax, Tulsans are getting poorer. In 1980, 10 percent of Tulsans lived below the Federal Poverty Line, better than the national average of 12 percent. Now it’s nearly 20 percent, well above the national average of 15.8 percent.

And, almost 43 percent of Tulsans can’t earn a living wage. Dewey and his allies don’t care. If the Vision Forever Tax passes, will Dewey’s backers reward him with mayoral re-election?

If OU’s David Boren prevails, Oklahoma will finally become a No. 1 state … in something: The highest state sales tax rate in the country. And, Tulsa will rank No. 2 in the United States for major cities in our sales tax rate. David Boren has never lost a political race (and has powerful supporters who expect a concentrated financial benefit of over $600,000,000 annually…..forever) from his proposed 1-cent sales tax.

Add the Boren Burden to the Vision Forever tax, and Tulsa will be very close to a 10 percent sales tax rate.

Only Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago is higher…….all the while Oklahoma’s oil patch economy staggers, with $113 billion in net worth evaporated from Oklahoma’s publicly held oil and gas companies last year. Continuing company layoffs total thousands, with offices closing in Tulsa. Bankruptcies abound.

Williams Cos. sold out. Despite our chamber’s happy-talk, Williams employees expect layoffs in job redundancies at new parent owner Texas’ offices.

There are many features of the proposed city tax increase to beware: There is no cap on the taxes. $884 million in new taxes may eventually be a $Billion plus. The term is 15 years.

Does anyone really know what their needs will be in 5, 10 or 15 years? Dewey does? The politicians pronounce capital project cost estimates.

Actual costs for our publicly financed projects suffer cost Overruns: The BOK Arena, UMAC and PAC. Our State Capitol Building……

Councilor Bynum hopes no one notices that despite his feverish agitation for a new low-water dam, the existing Tulsa dam still works, although ill-maintained. Our politicians avoid maintenance, so that their cronies can construct ever anew.

Anyone notice that we are being forced to pay over $1 billion to rebuild our city streets, after a former mayor decided to foolishly cease street maintenance? Our street maintenance department declined from 240 to 63 full-time personnel, with no full-time paving crews. Disaster ensued.

Despite Dewey once opposing, he’s now proposing a permanent police and fire tax, despite serious crime rates steadily declining for over 20 years. Dewey definitely showed us that Tulsans public safety was never endangered when he indefinitely laid off approximately 120 police officers.

Our “fire” department responds to EMT events in over 75 percent of their “fire” runs, not to fight fires. It deploys $650,000 fire engines with three personnel. Dewey wants four for each engine…contrary to an EMT-industry two-person standard for EMT deployments.

Just waste, waste, and more waste.

Like Tulsa’s decades of wasted tax dollars for 783 police take-home cars for 783 police officers. Taking Tulsa police cars to moonlight and commute home to Broken Arrow Bixby, Owasso, Skiatook, Glenpool, Sapulpa, Catoosa, and to all points of the compass where over half of Tulsa police live (a policy quietly re-instituted by Dewey).

Citizens for a Better Vision urges Tulsa voters to penetrate the promises of pandering promoters, and VOTE NO April 5 to unneeded new taxes.