The other view on Maps III…
12:00 AM EST on December 7, 2009
In case Clark Matthews' brilliant post "Why not this Maps?" didn't make it clear enough, The Lost Ogle is a proud supporter of Maps III. That being said, we're not the type of place that's scared to let the other side give their opinion on the issue. We leave that up to The Oklahoman.
Anyway, after the jump check out a brief essay/plea by David Glover on why you may want to "Vote No" on Tuesday.
p.s. "” The idea for this guest post was conceived while I was drunk and wearing a Snuggie at the Speakeasy. That's my out!
Looking at TV and Twitter, it looks like MAPS3 should pass by a 99 to 1 margin. Like most things, however, there is another side to the story. The previous MAPS projects were mostly positive; they make us feel better about our city.
Here are some facts about this upcoming vote. The vote is about a sales tax for over 7 years for "capital improvement projects." They predict raising $777,000,000.00 (777 million dollars). There are about 550,000 OKC citizens, and although about 30% of the tax is paid by non-OKC citizens, this works out to about $1,000.00 average cost for each person in OKC, or $4,000.00 per family. (All of these numbers come from the City's and the Chamber's own figures).
The 'projects' are not on the ballot; they could have been on the ballot to be voted on individually. The most expensive project is the convention center, which had some of the lowest polling when citizens gave their preferences. No wonder they didn't list it. Sales taxes are regressive; they hit the poor and middle class harder.
The Mayor ultimately gets to pick who is on the oversight board. This "oversight board" has no power and can only make recommendations to the council. Any current or future council can change or cancel any project.
Conservatives say they want less government, competition, free enterprise and lower taxes; this is their chance. Liberals say they are against regressive taxation and for more openness and public deliberation; this is their chance. Everyone except the Chamber and Big Business is against corporate welfare; this is our chance.
So who do you think really picked the projects? Do you think this is the best we can do? Do you think OKC is going to dry up and blow away if we hold off and choose better projects?
There are city-wide cuts coming for almost every city department. The OKC jail needs a 200+ million dollar fix, and that tax is probably coming in the first part of 2010.
Are we taking care of our city as well as we can now? Tax policy is about redistribution of all of the citizens money. How do you feel about taxing yourself and your neighbor for these projects at this time? Take a pass on this MAPS and you send a message you are not easily fooled and think we can do better.
- David Glover
Once again, this is just one viewpoint from the other side. If you feel the need to leave a relatively civil response, do so in the comments.