OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City’s new mayor introduced the possibility of a new structure for the city’s MAPS sales tax Thursday: setting aside some of the money in an endowment that would outlast tax collections.
“MAPS is often perceived to be exclusively of use to capital projects,” Mayor David Holt said at his first State of the City address. “But there is actually a historic exception to that. MAPS 1 included endowments, funded through the use tax portion of sales tax, to fund operations of the projects.
“Those operation cost challenges are real, and they shouldn’t be ignored,” he said. “Some of the priorities I’m hearing for MAPS 4 are really not solved by bricks and mortar. … Though I think MAPS should remain a temporary tax, this is not a conundrum we cannot solve. Again, we have the model from MAPS 1, and we could also tweak it in a way to make the endowments perpetual, extending the legacy forever.”
Holt’s presentation drew about 1,530 people to the Cox Center, one of the most-attended events in the annual series, according to a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber spokesman. The speech was simulcast on Facebook and Twitter as well. It was also Holt’s biggest event since his election about a year ago, succeeding three-term Mayor Mick Cornett.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE