GRIP - Grass Roots Involvement Program

Action Alert


To:           OML Members
From:      OML Legislative Department
Date:      April 10, 2017
Subject: HB 1374 - Public Safety Districts
 
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED - MUNICIPAL VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD
  
HB 1374  by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt passed the Senate General Committee today by a vote of 6-4.  The next hurdle for this bill is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday in the full Senate Appropriations Committee.  Members need to hear from you now! 
 
Oklahoma cities and towns are almost entirely dependent on sales tax for general operations.  Public safety takes a large share of the general revenue budget for cities and towns.  HB 1374 provides an option for municipalities to seek an alternative revenue source for our vital service of public safety. 
 
HB 1374 is permissive and does not mandate that the districts be created.  It allows governing boards the means to determine if the citizens of the municipality want to create and fund such districts.  This bill requires a majority of voters to approve the Public Safety District.  If it is approved, an annual assessment of no greater than five (5) mills will be assessed on the property in the district within municipal boundaries.  The assessment does not apply to real property zoned for agriculture or industrial land use and personal property owned by for-profit business entities.
 
The proceeds of which can be spent on operation and maintenance of the district, including expenses related to purchasing and maintaining public safety equipment, payment of salaries and benefits of municipal employees who provide law enforcement and/or fire protection public safety services within the district and municipal expenses related to housing prisoners.
 
It does not compete with rural fire districts for assessments and it does not impose the municipality's power over another jurisdiction. It does not take money away from entities receiving ad valorem revenue. Just as sales tax elections and municipal bond elections, it takes a majority of the registered voters to approve the question.
 
Please contact your member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to vote
 
YES  on HB 1374.
 
Send copies of any correspondence you have with your legislators to missy@oml.org  or fax to 405-528-7560, attn: Missy for our records. If you need additional information, please call Missy at 405-209-4328 (cell) or at the OML offices at 405-528-7515.


About Oklahoma Municipal League
The Mission of the OML is to provide services and programs required by municipal officials to assist them in better serving their citizens, and to act as the representative of Oklahoma municipalities in interactions requiring a united voice. Since 1913, the League has served as the individual and collective voice of local officials on the state and national level.
201 N.E. 23rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 528-7515; (800) 324-6651
Fax (405) 528-7560

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