US: Tulsa residents approve $814 million infrastructure package

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum
Image: Jacob I. Allison.

On Tuesday, voters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US approved an US$814 million package to improve the infrastructure around the city. The "Improve our Tulsa 3" package received more than the requirement of 60% of the ballots cast.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum had campaigned for the approval of the measure, stating, "We have allowed facilities across the city to fall behind when it comes to maintenance. Earlier this year, my colleagues on the council and I went on a tour of really critical city facilities. What we saw — and I say this as somebody who loves Tulsa — it was embarrassing."

Tulsa City Councilor Grant Miller cautioned against approving the measure, objecting that the city council wasn't given a appropriate timeframe to review the proposed projects.

The measure would keep the city's sales tax at its current 3.65 percent, but would divert some revenue towards the improvements proposed to be funded by the issuance of $42 million of additional bonds and by preexisting bonds.

The measure's funding would include $95 million for housing projects, $93.8 million for street projects that had been approved previously, $46 million for projects to widen streets, $58.5 million for improvements to the fire department's vehicles, $47.5 million for a facility to house police and space for municipal courts, and $79.7 million for upgrades to Tulsa's Performing Arts Center.

The Tulsa Performing Arts Center, location of a future $79 million dollar improvement project
Image: Jiri Lebl.