Any vote to raise taxes is bound to face an uphill battle. So it's not a huge surprise that the four-tenths-cent river sales tax increase went down in flames in Tuesday's Tulsa County election.
The "Yes" campaign was very well funded—lots of TV ads and direct mail—but the advertising couldn't make up for anti-tax resistance in much of Tulsa County.
As the Tulsa World's precinct map shows very clearly, the "No" forces prevailed in north Tulsa County, as well as many other outlying areas. In some precincts in north Tulsa County, for example, the "No" vote won by an 8-to-1 margin.
The "Yes" campaign can take some comfort with the fact that 47.5 percent of Tulsa County voters were willing to vote themselves a tax increase. They might also find some good news with the response of voters in the Tulsa city limits, where the "Yes" forces turned out in sizable numbers.
A few examples:
Precinct 47, First Methodist Church 1115. S. Boulder: Yes: 302; No: 82.
Precinct 52: Harvard Avenue Baptist Church, 3235 E. 17th St.: Yes: 571; No: 284
Precinct 61: Arts & Humanities Council, 2210 S. Main St.: Yes: 614; No: 105.
Precinct: 73: John Knox Presbyterian Church, 2929 E. 31st: Yes: 612; No: 137.
Despite such lopsided "Yes" precincts, there weren't enough city voters to outweigh the county's many "No" precincts.
In any case, we have a feeling that river development ideas are not going away. In a year or two, we're betting some plan or other will be in the news again.