The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 23, 2013

Council calls vote on tax increase

NORMAN — Norman City Council members on Tuesday unanimously called an April 2 election to ask voter approval of a 25 percent increase in the city’s hotel and motel room tax.

The proposed increase, from 4 percent to 5 percent of the room’s cost, would generate an estimated $280,000 per year on top of the roughly $1.1 million per year that is currently generated by the room tax.

Half of the tax money is currently spent on convention and tourism promotion, a fourth on city parks and a fourth on the arts. The city has 2,831 hotel, motel and bed and breakfast rooms.

The vote comes on the same day as the mayor and council elections.

“Any increase will be an improvement over our current budget,” said Stephen Koranda, executive director of the city’s convention and tourism bureau.

Koranda said the city bureau’s funding ranks 13th of 18 among peer cities and is “glaringly underfunded” compared to Big 12 cities. The tax generated $1,006,105 in fiscal year 2010, $1,069,000 in fiscal year 2011 and $1,133,930 in fiscal year 2012.

Ward 1 Councilman Roger Gallagher reminded colleagues that a quarter of the tax proceeds are reserved for park maintenance.

“We have parks in the community that need maintenance on a daily basis,” he said.

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said community arts organizations have a stake here, too.

“I know that there are folks in the arts community that are concerned about possible reductions at the state level,” she said.

Earlier, council members approved a $5,897,600 contract with CGC LLC to begin construction of Legacy Park in the University North Park development, north of Robinson and east of Interstate 35.

The park will be paid for through ad valorem and sales taxes collected by commercial ventures in the development. The plan excludes a water feature that was originally envisioned.

It includes a fountain and a 46,000-square-foot lake. Councilman Gallagher asked about evaporation of the lake and fountain. The lake is estimated to have 2.25 million gallons of water, with a 30 to 40 percent evaporation rate.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014