MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 8, 2013

Tahlequah passes excise tax

Increase to take effect April 1; much of it to fund street work

Tahlequah voters narrowly passed a proposition Tuesday that will bring in more than an estimated $20 million in the next 10 to 15 years.

Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols called the excise tax proposal “vital” for the growing Tahlequah community, and enough voters agreed to pass the 3/4th of a cent excise tax.

A Cherokee County Election Board spokeswoman said the unofficial total with all six precincts reporting was 505 votes for, and 457 against the proposal that should bring an estimated $21,112,339 to Tahlequah. It will go into effect April 1.

Nichols has called the tax necessary for the continued growth of a town that has seen its population surge in the last decade. Many of Tahlequah’s roads, he said, had been put in place with a population of less than 10,000 people in mind. The United States Census from 2010 showed Tahlequah had nearly 16,000 residents.

At the heart of the tax is $11 million earmarked for eight street improvements Nichols said would need to be done, regardless of if the measure passed.

The rest of the money is set aside for various projects including a new compressed natural gas trash truck fleet Nichols said would save the town between $60,000 to $80,000 every year, Phoenix Park renovations, a new community center on the Northeastern State University campus, improvements to the police, fire and emergency management departments, a swimming pool and the second phase of the town’s sports complex.

Nichols said the tax is set for a 15-year term, but based on how fast Tahlequah is paying off an old sales tax — a half-cent tax that began in 2009 and is set to roll off in two-thirds the time expected — he believes the current tax will be completed in 10 years.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgforth @muskogeephoenix.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks