"There are truly many reasons to say we're in the best of times," said the narrator of a video played near the end of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett's state of the city address Wednesday.
It was a visual summary of the mayor's speech. Bartlett focused on why Tulsa is now in a good position after two recessions: Low unemployment, economic development and industrial partnerships.
Now it’s time for Tulsa to focus on the game changers, "those community-wide investments that set our city's pathway for the rarified air of greatness," Bartlett said. "This is the opportune time to fund public safety with a dedicated source of revenue and to fund water in the river once and for all."
Bartlett said a partial extension of the Vision2025 sales tax could pay for both of those things, and he pitched his public safety plan during the address.
He said extending two-tenths of one cent of the sales tax will generate $14 million solely for public safety, which will pay for more cops, firefighters and street maintenance.
"This is how we can take better control of our budgetary problems," Bartlett said. "This is how we can finally open a new fire station in east Tulsa. This is how we can form crime-fighting task forces without pulling officers away from their primary job."
Tulsa currently has a lower sales tax rate than Oklahoma City, Norman and Edmond. Each of those cities has a public safety tax, ranging from half a cent to three-fourths of a cent.