Why has our total sales tax grown faster than our population has?
Glenpool was once a "donor" city – meaning our population spent more of their sales tax dollars in other communities and we didn't draw in other people to shop or dine or stay in Glenpool. Over the past 12 or so years, as we've been able to add key pieces of infrastructure and position the city for the growth that is occurring, we've developed into a "recipient" city – meaning we draw in outside shoppers to buy, dine, and stay in Glenpool. That is how our sales tax dollars have grown more than our population has on a percentage basis. New tax revenue from the Move Glenpool Forward program approved by voters in 2016 has also changed our tax revenue, but the biggest impact has been the number of new businesses that now exist but didn't a dozen years ago. More of our citizens' tax dollars now stay in Glenpool, and many other people contribute to our sales tax base, as well. In essence, for every dollar of sales tax the City spends on services like police, fire and parks for our residents, a portion of that dollar comes from someone who doesn't live here.

What happens if we DON'T pass this sales tax?
If the 2001 Sales Tax measure expires, the City of Glenpool faces an annual loss (based on this year's budget) of $1.9 million dollars dedicated to capital investments and improvements. The debt from past improvements will still exist with or without the extension of this sales tax. To pay back the debt, the City will have two options:
Option 1: Seek bond funding to be approved by Glenpool Voters.
A bond backed by ad valorem revenue would increase property taxes, leaving the burden on citizens who own homes and businesses in Glenpool, where a sales tax helps spread the burden to those who use our streets and depend upon city services such as police and fire protection, but don't live within our city limits.
Option 2: Reduce city services.
Including significant reductions in our police, fire, public works, and administrative departments. While job losses would inevitably be a big part of the reductions made necessary if this extension does not pass, the services possible by the people in those roles would also be reduced. We, as a city, would have fewer public works people to patch potholes, repair sewer lines, or maintain parks, for instance. In every department, we'd likely have some levels of service reduction in order to meet our obligations.

What has this tax done for us in the past?
Because it's dedicated to capital improvements, this funding source has been a critical piece of many large infrastructure projects in Glenpool, including:
  • Fire equipment, including a new rescue truck, fire engine, and ladder truck
  • Police equipment, including new patrol vehicles
  • 156th Street Water Tower project
  • Public Safety Building and equipment
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade project
  • Former Fire Station remodel project (now EMS building)
  • Former City Hall remodel project (now GPS Admin Center)
  • Water system improvements
  • Sewer Lift Station improvements (Speedy's Station, Longhorn Station, Fern Street Station)
  • Utility Billing Building
  • South Country Soccer Complex
  • Glenpool Conference Center
  • 121st Street Signalization project
  • Warrior Road improvements not covered by Move Glenpool Forward
  • Public Works Building and equipment
  • Fern Signalization upgrades
  • Streetscaping improvements on 141st Street
  • Black Gold Park improvements
  • Miscellaneous street repair and improvement projects

Can the tax be used to fix 131st St bridge?
While that seems like a good use of funds on the face of it, it isn't. The state has determined that Highway 75 is moving to a limited access highway. That access point (131st Street at Highway 75) will be closed by the state, permanently. Fixing the bridge would therefore only serve as a local option for travel for a few homes who all have alternate routes to reach their destination. In other words, fixing the bridge would not enable access to Highway 75 via 131st street for more than a short time, and it would cost millions to fix.

Do we have the highest tax rate in the state?
No. We do not have the highest city sales tax rate in the state. Glenpool's city sales tax is one of the higher rates across the state, but not the highest. Growth requires infrastructure. Glenpool has in recent times been the fastest growing city in the state.
No. We do not have the highest combined sales tax rate in the state. Many Oklahoma cities have combined (meaning the total sales tax with city, county, and state sales taxes) of 10%+. You can view them all here. »

Why did you choose to do the vote in August instead of in November?
The August vote will be uncluttered on the ballot. We wanted people to have time to find out about the issue on the ballot, get their questions answered, and be able to communicate key information to our citizens without the "clutter" of heavy-duty campaign messaging that happens around major votes like a Presidential election. It was a choice to enable more opportunity for voter education and awareness, not to reduce it.

Why do we need this sales tax if we have a TIF (Tax increment Financing District) to pay for infrastructure?
We have seen several posts suggesting that since the City has a TIF in place that the revenue from the TIF should be sufficient to cover our infrastructure needs. Unfortunately, that isn't accurate. Under Oklahoma law, income from TIF can be used on infrastructure, BUT only for infrastructure on that particular development site. In the case of the South 75 TIF District, funding in the form of new sales and property tax generated from businesses on the site (like Mark Allen Chevrolet) are used to pay for the new roads, water and sewer lines on the land that serve these new businesses. These funds cannot be used to pay for projects elsewhere in the City. It is critical for our long-term growth that the State allows these types of options for cities. TIFs allow us a way to work with businesses to expand and move to Glenpool thereby providing new jobs and/or retail shops for our residents, because otherwise we would have to pay for these types of improvements out of our General Fund sales tax or the 1-penny Capital Improvement tax that is the coming up for renewal. TIF Districts are a win/win proposition for Glenpool residents because they allow us to fund business growth without taking existing tax dollars that could be used for other projects.

What are we going to do with this money if the tax is extended?
These funds will be earmarked to pay our debt payments first. As the tax revenue exceeds the debt payment, which is expected to happen during the term of this tax, we will begin setting those funds aside for new projects. While new capital infrastructure projects would be up to future Councils, our current Council is aware of the strategic impact that adding any new debt for projects would have on the City. Currently, the Council has chosen to pay for many of our current projects on a pay-as-we-go basis. That means projects take longer to complete since they must wait until sufficient tax revenue is collected, but they don't add to overall debt. All new projects will require Council approval, but we are currently in the midst of crafting a master improvement plan for BlackGold Park that would include potential upgrades to the facilities and amenities. We also continue to monitor our arterial streets for expansion given the ongoing growth in the City. This will likely include extensions of the Elwood widening project that was included in the Move Glenpool Forward program.