We support the approval of a 3/4 cent sales tax renewal allocated for capital improvement projects.
Over the past two months, this tax has become the subject of controversy. The Grady County TEA Party led a compelling campaign, detailing the misuse of revenue generated from this tax since it was first approved 20 years ago. We agree with the TEA Party that former city representatives were poor stewards of this money.
However, we do not agree the answer is 100 percent earmarks for the projected $24 million this tax will bring into Chickasha.
This is the only CIP tax this city has, and as such, is appropriated for infrastructure repairs including maintenance on water, sewers and roads. The major argument against this tax is predicated on actions committed by previous representatives. Our current mayor and city manager have adamantly said funds generated from this tax will be used solely for CIP improvement. They've said this in public forums and numerous articles in The Express-Star. Should they use the money for parks and recreation funding or anything else, we will be there to hold our city officials accountable.
Voting no on this tax renewal will only hurt the city. If the renewal doesn't pass, there will be no money to fix infrastructure problems. This is where the argument for voting no is inherently flawed. Voting no effectively does nothing but create more problems, and possibly higher expenses in the future via bonds and other tax elections.
This is not a new tax. The citizens of Chickasha have paid this fee for 20 years with seemingly no regard for the cost. Suspending this tax will not give a substantial amount of money back to the people.
We understand the want to vote something down in order to assist the citizenry, but in this regard, voting no seems more like making a decision simply for the sake of fighting government.
Editorials represent a consensus of the editorial board of The Express-Star.
The editorial board is comprised of the publisher, managing editor and various staff members.