On May 24, 2023, a brighter future for Oklahoma‘s largest city become more likely.
That was when the Tulsa City Council voted to approve ballot language for Improve Our Tulsa, an $814 million funding package that will not raise taxes, but will fund critical infrastructure renewal throughout the city.
It will also provide capital funding for improving public safety equipment, street maintenance, housing and neighborhoods.
“I am thankful for the collaborative effort it took to put forth this ballot measure, and I want to thank the Tulsa City Council and everyone in our community who helped get us to this point,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.
“If approved by voters in August, this renewal will fund basic infrastructure improvements like streets and public safety vehicles, maintenance of public buildings, and assistance to get those in need off the streets,” he added.
This round of Improve Our Tulsa was developed through input from members of the City, the Tulsa City Council and the public.
“I am pleased that Tulsa voters will have the opportunity to weigh in to continue street maintenance, increase the availability of housing, and provide much-needed updates to City facilities,” District 3 City Councilor and Chair of the Tulsa City Council said.
“Renewing this funding package will Improve Our Tulsa for all, including residents, City employees, and visitors,” he continued.
In March, Mayor Bynum presented a draft plan to the Tulsa City Council. In April and May, the City held three town halls at various locations to hear from the public on what they thought of the draft plan.
Using feedback from the public and from members of the Tulsa City Council, an additional $42 million was added to the draft plan through the addition of a bond issuance that aligns with the final year of the proposed sales tax.
The addition, which also does not raise taxes, brings the Improve Our Tulsa total to $814 million – the final number that will be reflected on ballots in August.
Funding highlights include:
- $295.8 million for streets and transportation, which includes funding for street widening;
- $270.4 million for City-owned facility upgrades and maintenance;
- $152.8 million for City fleet, including fire trucks; and
- $95 million for housing and neighborhood needs.
It was back on March 22, 2023 that Mayor Bynum presented his Improve Our Tulsa proposal to the Tulsa City Council, a $772 million package to fund critical improvements to Tulsa’s streets, City facilities and equipment, and create a $104.2 million Tulsa Housing Initiative that will help fill a critical need for housing in Tulsa.
Tulsans will have a chance on August 8, 2023, to vote on the measure.
Photo of downtown Tulsa is by Nils Huenerfuerst via Wikipedia.