Lawton city leaders lay out proposal for next sales tax election

Lawton_The City of Lawton is once again trying to raise more money through a sales tax proposal.  Voters shot down the city council's last tax package in April and they're going to try it again this October.

The proposal is still waiting final approval, but it calls for a 3/8 cent sales tax to be spent on city streets, sewer rehab projects, water distribution lines.  It may not sound that glamorous, but city leaders say it's vital for future growth.

One of the biggest complaints elected officials hear about Lawton is horrible streets lined with potholes and cracks. It's hard to go anywhere without experiencing the rough ride they provide.  City Councilman Randy Warren says things could become 10 million dollars smoother, if voters give it the thumbs up in October.

Councilman Bob Shanklin's number one objective with the tax proposal is to make sure projects are listed.  That way there's no confusion as to what's going to be done and how it's going to be paid for.

"Sales tax need to pass, but we need to do what we say we're going to do with the money. We've got to identify the projects, so average taxpayers knows he's getting something out of it."  Shanklin wants water and sewer projects also spelled out in the proposal.

While the 3/8 cent tax will provide a good sized chunk of money, Warren says it will only put a dent in the city's infrastructure needs. But it's a start.

If voters approve the proposal, the state will pay the interest on the bond loans for up to five years.  That's through the Brac Bill Oklahoma lawmakers approved in May.