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Local & Regional

City Leaders Announce Vision Funding Compromise

Matt Trotter

Tulsa city councilors and the mayor have worked out a compromise on using part of a Vision sales tax renewal for public safety.

They intend to dedicate 0.2 percent of the renewal and $4.4 million in additional use tax to public safety, with the remaining 0.35 percent going to other projects.

"One of the more significant issues that comes out of this compromise is at least at this time, we'll be approaching this without the need for a tax increase and still providing a considerable amount of support for public safety, for street maintenance, for water in the river, and for quality of life and economic development projects," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who has pushed for the public safety component.

Out of an Improve Our Tulsa renewal , 0.1 percent may also go toward public safety.

Councilor Karen Gilbert and Bartlett made competing public safety proposals and appear to be the drivers of the compromise.

"Economic development and public safety go hand in hand with each other. We have to have both," Gilbert said.

Councilor Anna America praised Gilbert and Bartlett for working out the compromise.

"And I hope and I believe now — and I think this is a great first step from you two — that we will be able to come together with a package that all nine councilors and the mayor and the public safety unions and other civic leaders and this whole community will be able to get behind," America said.

Not all councilors seem on board, however. Vision task force chair Blake Ewing declined to comment on the announced compromise, saying he was being a team player.