The Norman Transcript


October 31, 2012

Economic development: Planned policy under scrutiny



Those tools — many in the form of incentives — are precisely what some critics fear. They point to deals gone wrong or blunders that other cities have made and express concern that those mistakes could happen in Norman.

But that’s what the Norman City Council intends to prevent.

Wood said any proposed project should be based on an economic impact analysis including jobs creation and what impact it will have on the community.

“Locating major companies is a very competitive business,” he said. “The state of Texas has a dedicated half-cent sales tax all for economic development and most of the cities have voted that in.”

Oklahoma municipalities are competing as well. Bartlesville, Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Ponca City, for example, all have dedicated revenue streams for economic development.

While Norman is unique, it must compete with other cities inside and outside of the state who are aggressively pursuing economic development and jobs creation proponents of the new Authority say.

“Norman has higher costs than other cities,” Wood said. “Real estate is expensive and development costs in Norman are generally higher. We have impact fees that other people don’t have.”

The limited availability of potential sites in Norman creates land higher costs, he said.

The proposed economic policy is still in the early stages, said Norman city attorney Jeff Harley Bryant.

“We met in August and September and reviewed the tools we have in effect,” Bryant said. “Then in September and October, we talked about what other cities are doing.”

But Bryant said examples of what other cities are doing may not always be relevant.

“What they’re doing in other states may not work here,” he said. “Kansas has the ability to waive property taxes.”

In Oklahoma, most property tax goes to the schools and the county, so Norman wouldn’t have much of a property tax to waive, though in cases like the University North Park TIF, the taxing entities did agree to a partial ad valorem tax deferral with the monies used to develop infrastructure to support the development.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014