If you're a downtown Tulsa enthusiast like I am, you might have already seen Michael Overall's piece in the Tulsa World today. Or, Steve Lackmeyer's piece in The Oklahoman Tuesday.
From Overall's TW article:
Revitalization efforts will become impossible to finance if the state Legislature doesn't change its mind about revoking a tax credit for historic properties, Sikes warned.
"Developers are going to turn away from Oklahoma," said Sikes, whose current projects include loft apartments at the old Robinson Packer building near Main and Brady streets.
"All the progress we see right now will stop."
Developers and officials statewide agree with him, predicting that investors will pull out of revitalization projects across Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Muskogee and elsewhere.
Read the rest of the story here.
See, the folks in Oklahoma City who, thanks to us, get to hang out at our state's capitol and legislate, voted last week on a two-year moratorium on certain tax credits worth more money to developers than most of us could shake a stick at - money that often makes the difference between cranes in the sky downtown and none.
The State Rehabilitation Tax Credit was part of the deal. This credit gives a 20-percent credit for managers of projects who do what they're supposed to when they're renovating all those old buildings downtown we all love to visit and patronize once they're restaurants, clubs or housing - you know, exciting points of interest in the heart of our city.
So, if you think about it, those tax credits aren't just for the developers. They're for us, too, the people of this state. These projects increase our tax base and bring jobs to Oklahoma, which translate to an improved quality of life, both in terms of entertainment, housing and office space options (to name just a few) as well as government-supplied public services.
If you care about the continued revitalization of downtown Tulsa, you need to take a minute and do one thing: Call Rep. Chris Benge. His number is 405-557-7340.
Ask him for his support of the trailer bill to SB1267 to reinstate the historic rehab tax credit.
Then, ask your friends, colleagues, neighbors, kids, pets and even your ex-spouses do the same. If your mailperson is friendly, let him/her know, too. Mine isn't friendly at all - he's a crusty old mailman, jaded by years of service in the rain, shine, snow and sleet - but I'm still gonna tell him to get on the phone and call the folks at the Capitol.
If you have a few minutes, call Rep. Kris Steele, too. His number is 405-557-7345. Then, call Sen. Coffee at 405-521-5636. Then, call your local Representatives and Senators.
Tell these representatives that, as a voter, you care about the momentum of historic re-development downtown and that you think this tax credit trailer bill needs to be heard.