BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Monday night, Broken Arrow city councilors will vote on calling a special election for August to ask residents to approve nearly $60 million in general obligation bonds, and raise the city's hotel occupancy tax.
"The bottom line is, these bond projects will not increase property taxes for residents," Broken Arrow Communications Director Krista Flasch told KRMG Monday.
"We want to insure residents that if they approve these bond projects, whether it's teh new bond projects or repurposing the 2004 and 2008 authorized bond projects, it will not increase property taxes," she added.
Because bonds are written very specifically, any changes to the original plan must be approved by voters.
The 2004 bond authorization approved by voters was for a hotel conference center.
"The scope of that project has changed, in that now the city will own the land, but the developer will build the hotel and operate the conference center," Flasch said.
"Regarding the 2008 bond authorization for the art center, the land and building that (was) looked at in 2008, that building is no longer available. So in order for us to use that bond money...we have to ask voters to agree to the repurposing of that money, and right now that creative arts center is being planned for construction in the Rose District."
The city also hopes to raise its hotel occupancy tax from four percent to seven percent.
Broken Arrow collected $470,000 from the tax in Fiscal Year 2013, and estimates it collected $480,000 in FY 2014.
Tulsa currently collects a 5 percent hotel occupancy tax, but is reportedly considering bumping that up to 7.5 percent.
The special Broken Arrow Council meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Monday, June 9, at the Council Chambers, 220 South First Street.
If approved, voters will be asked to decide four issues on August 26 of this year:
- Authorization for $59,935,000.00 in new bond issuances for streets, public safety, public buildings and quality of life projects.
- Repurpose the previously approved 2004 bond authorization of $5,855,000 for a hotel/conference center.
- Repurpose the previously approved 2008 bond authorization of $1,400,000 for an arts center.
- Increase the itinerant guest (hotel occupancy) tax to seven (7) percent.