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Edmond voters extend 1-cent sales taxes

Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb gives his state of the city address, where he provided information to Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce members and guests about a vote to extend two sales taxes. [PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb gives his state of the city address, where he provided information to Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce members and guests about a vote to extend two sales taxes. [PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN]

EDMOND — Voters on April 5 decided to extend an existing 1-cent general fund tax and a half-cent sales tax for capital improvements. The taxes will be for 10 years.

The tax extensions did not increase Edmond's 8.25 percent sales tax rate. The state gets 4.50 percent and the city receives the remaining 3.75 percent.

Of the city's portion, 2 cents goes to the general fund, a quarter-cent goes to firefighters and an eighth-cent goes to police. Parks get an eighth of a cent, and three-fourths of a cent goes to the 2000 capital improvement fund.

The remaining half-cent sales tax was approved Oct. 11, 2011, for five years, to pay for the new public safety center. The tax ends March 31.

The general fund sales tax was first approved April 5, 1977, and extended for 10 years in 1986, 1996, 2006 and again in 2016.

The penny goes to the day-to-day operations of the city, parks, police, fire, streets and traffic divisions and emergency management.

The half-cent sales tax extension is from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2027, for capital improvement projects. A list of projects was created by a committee of residents who considered ideas for 17 weeks.

A 21-member task force recommended extending the half-cent tax for 10 years and came up with a list of proposed capital improvements.

The Downtown Edmond Business Association supported extending the half-cent sales tax, expected to bring in an estimated $80 million over a 10-year period.

One recommendation is the revitalization of downtown, which might include a new library, a parking garage and a performing arts center in partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma.

Other projects

• City street improvements to alleviate traffic congestion.

• Tennis center in partnership with Edmond Public Schools.

• Expanded and improved sports facilities.

• Public transportation enhancement.

• Expanded and improved parks system with more splash pads.

• Expanded and improved trails system.

• New fire station west of Broadway and renovation of existing fire stations.

• Animal shelter addition.

• Police lake house replacement.

In 2000, Edmond voters passed a permanent three-fourths-cent capital improvement sales tax after residents presented a list of proposed improvements.

The city has completed or started all the projects on the original list including the public works center, animal control facility, firearms training center, a community park, the Edmond Senior Center, the Pelican Bay Aquatic Center and three phases of a streetscape project.

The most recent task force list of projects was evaluated on community need, ability to decrease leakage to other municipalities, ability to increase sales tax revenue and opportunity to leverage return on investment through partnerships and marketability, task force Chairman Jill Castilla said.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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