Voters say ‘Yes’ to 1/4-cent ED sales tax extension

April 7, 2021

Bartlesville voters overwhelmingly said “Yes” to extending the existing 1/4-cent Economic Development Sales Tax extension in an election held Tuesday. According to unofficial results from the Oklahoma Election Board, support for the proposed extension passed by a huge margin — 78.14 percent of the vote.

The tax, first approved by voters in 1986 and approved every five years since, supports the City’s economic development and tourism efforts — keeping jobs and sales tax dollars in Bartlesville and bringing new businesses to the area.

“Since its inception in 1986, the 1/4-cent sales tax dedicated to economic development has proved invaluable in efforts to attract and retain a broad spectrum of businesses employing many of our friends and neighbors,” said Mayor Dale Copeland. “We deeply appreciate the positive results of this election asking voters to approve renewal of the successful 1/4-cent Economic Development Sales Tax for another five years. From our past successes, we can now springboard our efforts to continue development of primary jobs and enhanced retail offerings. Thank you, Bartlesville, for your vision and support of this important tool for our ongoing future success.”

Revenue from the ED tax over the years has funded such projects as the Bartlesville Industrial Park, Walmart Distribution Center, the Hilton Garden Inn and countless others, as well as helped bring and retain hundreds of jobs to the area with investments in ABB, Springs Global, Husky Portable Containment and Phillips Precision Machining. Retail accomplishments with thanks owed to the voter-approved tax include the Silver Lake Village Shopping Center, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and the redevelopment of the former Kmart facility.

“The Bartlesville Development Authority is grateful for the community’s trust and investment in our efforts with approval of this small tax so many times over the decades,” said Bartlesville Development Authority President David Wood. “Thanks to that confidence and the outcome of the election on Tuesday, we will continue to work together to shape Bartlesville’s future.”

State Election Board records indicate 1,606 people voted in the election with 1,255 votes in support of the extension and 351, or 21.86 percent, against.

Photo by Michael Wray