On June 26th citizens will go to the polls to vote for the same penny they have been approving every 5 years for infrastructure, public safety and a judge- ment payoff related to the Material Services Corporation case. The only difference is that recent changes in state law require the uses of the money to be broken out in 3 separate propositions filled with extensive legalese and complicating lan- guage.
Five years ago the voters in Rogers Co. voted to maintain the 1 penny sales tax for infrastructure and debt service on the Material Services Corp. lawsuit. They did the same thing for the same reasons 5 years before and so on and so on. The 3 propositions on this year’s ballot, if passed, would authorize the same 1% tax rate to continue for another 5 years.
THIS IS NOT A TAX INCREASE! Proposition 1 is designated solely for the construction, improve- ment, maintenance, and repair of County roads and bridges. Proposition 2 is designated solely to pay the judgement in the Material Services Corporation case. And Proposition 3 is designated solely for the Rogers County Sheriff to provide for the protection of public safety within Rogers County.
Each of these is paramount for the future eco- nomic prosperity of Rogers Co. and our efforts to attract and retain quality jobs to the region.
It should also be noted that the purpose of propo- sition 2 has been to shorten the period of time to pay off the judgement against the county. This shortening of the payout time is saving the taxpayers millions of dollars in unnecessary interest. Once the payout is complete the overall Rogers County tax rate will reduce by 1/3 of a penny.
In my industry of economic development; infra- structure and public safety are absolutes to retain and attract new businesses and quality jobs. One of the many assets we have in Rogers Co. is a continued reinvestment and commitment to our roads and bridges and sound fiscal principals. That commit- ment has resulted in positive dividends through pri- vate investment as evidenced by new manufacturing partners and the addition of jobs at existing manu- facturers.
The ease of access to highways and waterways via the best county road system in the state played a major role in the recent addition of the Sofidel plant in Inola where 300 new jobs and hundreds of mil- lions in private sector investment will be made. These “wins” as we refer to them in the economic development industry are attributed to the citizens who have acted responsibly and reauthorized these endeavors.
It is imperative that you do so again on June 26th. Please vote yes on the same old penny and keep Rogers Co. moving forward.
—John W. Feary, Executive Director Claremore Industrial & Economic Development Authority (CIEDA)