What Are the Basics?
The basics are just that — the basic building blocks of services a city should provide its residents. This starts with using taxpayer dollars wisely to provide things like first class parks, reliable public transportation, and other services for our basic needs.
Why Operational Costs?
In the MAPS3 program, the roughly $800 million collected from the 1-cent sales tax has gone towards building things, or capital spending with none of the money dedicated towards operations and maintenance costs.
Once the MAPS3 projects are built, the new operations and maintenance costs are almost exclusively paid from the city’s existing general budget. For example, the streetcar costs approximately $3 million per year to operate and the new downtown park will cost $3 – $4 million per year to operate.
About 30 years ago, a coalition supporting the Oklahoma City Zoo collected the required number of signatures on an initiative petition for a permanent 1/8-cent sales tax for operations costs for the zoo, which was eventually approved by a vote of the people. This 1/8 dedicated sales tax generates approx. $14 million for the Zoo
Why Our Parks?
Oklahoma City has approximately 6,000 acres of public parks.
99% of OKC parks do not have restrooms, provide activities for children, or have quality athletic complexes.
Oklahoma City spends 28% of what a typical Midwestern city spends on park maintenance and the Trust for Public Land ranked our parks 89th out of 100 major metropolitan park systems.
The new 70 acre downtown Scissortail Park will cost $3 – $4 million per year to operate and the adjacent 10 acre Myriad Gardens Park costs $4.5 million per year to operate and maintain. This means that two downtown parks totaling 80 acres will receive approximately $8 million per year, to operate and maintain leaving approximately $20 million to operate and maintain the 6,000 acres of parks throughout the city’s neighborhoods.
Why Public Transportation?
Oklahoma City is one of the largest cities in America without public bus transportation on Sundays and in the evenings.
Over 80% of the costs in maintaining a bus system is for salaries for drivers, maintenance, fuel, etc.
Increased operational funds could provide for much greater frequency of service, expanded service hours to include evenings and weekends and provide quality bus shelters and other amenities for transit riders.
Join us by signing the petitions or volunteering to collect signatures!