Vote no on public transit tax
Norman voters have now had a chance to discuss the City of Norman’s sales tax increase proposal on the November 12 election ballot.
My reasons for voting NO on this proposal are listed below.
I would urge my fellow voters to take these reasons into consideration and vote to turn down this particular sales tax increase.
The proposed eighth cent tax rate is brand new and not a continuing tax rate.
The proposed rate is a 3.1% increase over Norman’s current City tax rate (0.125/4.0=3.1%).
It is not a sound policy to impose a regressive sales tax increase that falls most heavily on those who must rely on public transit in the first place.
The City’s proposition requires taxes raised to be spent on public transit systems “and other lawful purposes related to public transit.” Current City plans involve spending on automobile parking structures.
This sales tax increase will be required to run until another tax rate, very likely a higher one, is implemented, in coordination with “the Regional Transportation of Central Oklahoma.”
In FYE 2019 (thru 6-302019), the CART system cost $5,300,000 to operate while transporting 333,003 riders.
That means that it cost the system $15.92 per individual ride to operate the system.
The City of Norman actually negotiated this acquisition of the transit system with the University of Oklahoma and downplayed the cost of operation information with the public.
The crucial ridership information was finally made public only very recently. And that is about when the City called the November 12 election on this brand new tax that cannot legally end until a higher permanent rate is determined in the future by another governmental entity not accountable to Norman voters.
Vote NO on the City of Norman sales tax increase Proposition on Nov. 12.
Ed Crocker NORMAN