The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 10, 2013

Increasing hotel/motel tax essential for supporting arts

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

As a resident of Norman for nearly 50 years and a business owner for 35 years, I have watched our community grow, expand and adapt into a thriving city full of activities for our citizens, visiting families and friends, tourists, and university students.

It is with pride that I tell people about our incredible museums, vital arts organizations and fine arts programming, great parks and recreational facilities, strong social service organizations committed to serving those in need of assistance, and our constant work to provide a city where the term “quality of life” is more than just words.

Telling the story of Norman to potential visitors and newcomers, expanding our parks system and maintaining the strength and scope of the arts in Norman have all been supported through the Norman Transient Guest Room Tax. My personal journey has been enhanced by involvement in the arts in Norman.

I have watched young people performing in community productions on their way to appearing on university stages and ultimately on Broadway, all because of the support of grants made possible by the taxes generated from our visitors to Norman.

With the support of the guest room tax for the past several years, we have experienced many forms of visual and performing arts by local talent alongside nationally and internationally recognized performers.

The arts have been a key player in the renewal of downtown Norman and the awareness of the reputation of Norman's support of jazz, opera, ballet/dance, cultural festivals, public art, art galleries, and arts education.

During this last month, I have spent money at local businesses to purchase dinner before attending an art opening, have dry cleaning done for clothes to wear to special arts events, buy office supplies for a volunteer project for a not-for-profit arts group and provide items needed for a fundraising event for the arts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Congratulations to ‘The Sam’

    Congratulations are in order this week for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The massive museum is one of only five museums and five libraries honored with the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Help for the hurting

    This past fiscal year, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services served about 187,000 of our neighbors. That’s a lot of Oklahomans, but the department missed serving an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 more that are ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Repairs still needed

    Lawmakers once again kicked the can down the road on making needed repairs to the state Capitol. By a 62-34 vote, they turned down a Senate-approved plan to authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the nearly century-old building....

    April 24, 2014

  • Health care needs have reached critical stage

    Once again, the Republican-led Oklahoma legislators are leaving Oklahoma’s neediest in the dust with their proposed 2014-2015 budget. Studies by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Can’t have it both ways

    Local sheriff Joe Lester wasn’t among the state sheriffs and lawmakers protesting the removal of state prisoners from county jails this week. The sheriffs, some of whom have protested by having too many state prisoners in their ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014