, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 5, 2013

Sales tax leakage, civic center are budget issues

Mayor: Fixing sales tax problem would solve others

City administrators debated a number of topics Friday afternoon at their annual budget retreat.

Conversations ranged from infrastructure, employee pay and health insurance to street projects. After the initial discussion, led by City Manager Greg Buckley, concluded, Mayor Bob Coburn identified topics that were hotly contested by the meeting’s participants.

Coburn spoke mainly about two items:

• Sales tax leakage.

• Future issues facing the Muskogee Civic Center.

The sales tax leakage issue was raised in response to queries about how to fix Muskogee’s long-neglected infrastructure issue. One option bandied about was to find a source to finance a one-time payment to help “catch the city up.”

Coburn replied that a step-by-step process — a 25 percent dent in sales tax leakage would result in an extra $7 million per year, Coburn said.

“In 10 years, that’s $70 million,” Coburn said. “And we just fixed our infrastructure ... we don’t have a problem taking our money out of this community. We need people to realize that spending it here will pay for a firefighter’s salary, it will pay for an EMS salary. It builds a stronger economy and a stronger community.”

Coburn turned his attention toward the Muskogee Civic Center, saying the future Creek Nation Casino Event Center will cause a change in dynamics that the Civic Center will have to address.

“They’re (Creek Nation) going to spend $10 million down the road and take 50 percent of the business from here,” Coburn said. “In a short period of time, this is going to be an expense that we go ‘Whoa, we’ve got a problem.’”

One problem mentioned was booking agents who can promise a potential act shows at three casinos, for example, while Muskogee Civic Center management can only promise one show, in a smaller venue.  

Coburn suggested the possibility of contracting with their agent, so they can make similar promises to potential acts — “You can swing by Fort Smith, here and Enid, for example,” Coburn said.

Muskogee Civic Center Manager Cassandra Gaines said her committee already does something similar to that, but agreed with Ward IV Councilor Kenny Payne, who said “dynamics change.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive

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

     View Results
Featured Ads

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.