Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

May 13, 2013

One-Cent Sales Tax Renewal



I trust people on both sides of this argument, but the NEED for exactly this much money must be verified by some sort of analysis. Give us something to go on.
Our county has one of the highest combined sales tax rates in the region even though the City of Claremore’s portion of the combined state and local rates is one of the lowest.
In lieu of analysis, the committee FOR the tax has generated over-the-top rhetoric. “Does Claremore Want a War?” was the headline in the Oologah Lake Leader; on the ads they show pictures of paved roads becoming dirt roads if this tax is not passed. Any time publicity is that misleading, you have to wonder.
We obviously need to fund county roads. We also need to act conservatively and with prudent frugality, and if at all possible do it while returning a portion of that penny to the shoppers of Rogers County. We don’t know for certain how much the county needs. And so far, they haven’t produced or publicized any documents that support the abject need for a full penny renewal.
The Chamber of Commerce recently urged a “NO” vote. Not because they believe the county does not need money to fix roads, but because they believe a penny is too much. A “NO” vote would force the county commissioners to actually determine exactly how much is necessary and call for a vote on THAT number instead of giving them blanket authority to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment they don’t use, or on replacements for virtually brand new heavy machinery. 
Conservatives believe that taxes are appropriate only for the amount necessary to do the people’s work: nothing more, nothing less. This county elected two of the three commissioners on the profession of their conservative values. All three support the tax renewal. I would expect professed conservatives to make a significant effort to tighten their belts to return some tax benefit to their constituents if at all possible.

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