Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - ePOINT - October 2016

ePOINT - October 2016

 
 
 
 
 
 
Facebook icon     Twitter icon    
 
 
 
 

In this issue:

Maintain local schools without raising taxes

Chamber opposes State Question 779

Chamber supports State Questions 780 and 781

Chamber supports State Question 792

Head to the polls informed

GE opens new oil and gas research center

Oklahoma River Horse Park to showcase OKC’s heritage

City of Oklahoma City to negotiate convention center hotel agreement with Omni Hotels

Network with the Chamber and learn how to get involved

Welcome new businesses to OKC

Upcoming conventions in Oklahoma City

In case you missed it

 

 

Maintain local schools without raising taxes

 

In order to maintain Oklahoma City’s existing investment in its local schools, the Chamber launched the Maintain OKC Schools Committee to support the upcoming Oklahoma City Public School District bond issue in the Nov. 8 election. The committee is asking voters in the OKCPS district to “yes the yellow” ballot to support Oklahoma City’s students and protect our capital investments in local schools.

The three questions on the yellow bond issue ballot will provide the OKCPS district with $180 million in needed funds to better maintain existing buildings, update its technological and communications infrastructure and purchase necessary transportation-related equipment, including 100 new buses, all without raising taxes. The local bond issue will maintain the district’s current mill levy for bonds of 18.61 mills.

To learn more about the campaign or to donate to the committee’s efforts, visit www.maintainokcschools.com. You can also follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
 



Chamber opposes State Question 779

 
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is opposed to State Question 779, which would permanently increase the state sales tax rate by 1 percent to generate $615 million a year for a one-time teacher pay raise, higher education, grants, early childhood programs and career tech institutions. The Chamber fully supports a pay increase for teachers and more funding for education but 779 is not the right solution. Less than 50 percent of the tax dollars collected under 779 will go to teachers. We can do better than that.

There are several problems with State Question 779:

  • This permanent tax increase would turn Oklahoma City into one of the most heavily taxed cities in the country – higher than places like New York City or San Francisco. Sales tax revenue funds critical city services and public projects, and there are better ways to address this issue without jeopardizing Oklahoma City’s future growth.
  • SQ 779 does nothing to address the shortage of 1,000 teachers in the state, growing classroom sizes or the loss of funding for school programs such as arts and music. The state’s education needs require our elected officials to enact a long-term plan that ensures our students obtain the type of education they need to succeed.
  • Retailers across our state will face increased competition from online sales due to this higher sales tax rate, which will hurt local businesses and only further depress local sales tax revenue required for public safety and municipal operations.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is committed to leading a collaborative effort during next year’s legislative session to fund these needed increases for teacher salaries should SQ779 be defeated.
 



Chamber supports State Questions 780 and 781

 
State Questions 780 and 781 both focus on an important topic to the Chamber – criminal justice reform. SQ 780 would reclassify some property crimes and drug possession charges as misdemeanors, while SQ 781 would use the money saved by SQ 780 to fund rehabilitation and other diversion programs. Both of these changes are in line with the reform efforts the Chamber is coordinating for the Oklahoma County criminal justice system and would lead to a more effective approach to criminal justice and public safety.

The effort is being led by former House Speaker Kris Steele and the Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform Group, of which the Chamber is a member. More than 110,000 Oklahoma voters signed petitions calling for a vote on these two state questions.
 



Chamber supports State Question 792

 
The Chamber supports State Question 792, which would allow wine and strong beer to be sold cold in grocery and convenience stories beginning in 2018. It would also permit liquor stores to sell limited amounts of products other than alcoholic beverages. Voting yes on SQ 792 would also result in the enactment of several statutory changes – including allowing wineries to ship directly to customers in Oklahoma, and allowing craft breweries to sell their product in a more locations. Learn more at www.Yeson792.com.
 



Head to the polls informed

 

With Election Day quickly approaching, it is critical that Oklahomans head to the polls informed. In order to educate its members on elections, the Chamber’s government relations division provides information prepared by the statewide Research Institute for Economic Development Division to identify elected officials’ votes on issues important to the business community.

Alongside the RIED scores, the Chamber also assigns a score to legislators based on priority issues advocated by the Chamber during the legislative session. Read the scores for the 10-county region’s elected officials in the October issue of the POINT! newsletter, and head to the polls informed on Nov. 8.
 



GE opens new oil and gas research center

 

GE Global Research’s first industry-specific research center exploring new technologies in oil and gas celebrated its grand opening in Oklahoma City on Oct. 5. The center, which is located at 10th and Walnut Avenue near downtown Oklahoma City, will employ about 120 people in high-tech positions when fully staffed and is expected to have a direct and indirect economic impact of $13 million on the state and local economies. Read more.
 



Oklahoma River Horse Park to showcase OKC’s heritage

 
Civic leaders and community officials recently announced plans for an equestrian park on the Oklahoma River that will celebrate Oklahoma City’s rich Western heritage. The Oklahoma River Horse Park Task Force held a staking ceremony to formally mark a large section of Oklahoma City parkland for the $14 million development project.

The park, on the Oklahoma River’s south bank, just east of Exchange Ave., will include a visitor center, a corral, an exercise area, open and covered outdoor arenas, and a riding stable that is open to the public when complete. The first phase of the development is open for visitors, with 20 acres and a 0.6 mile looped trail. Learn more.
 



City of Oklahoma City to negotiate convention center hotel agreement with Omni Hotels

 

The Oklahoma City Council voted to begin negotiations with Omni Hotels and Resorts on an agreement for a hotel to serve the MAPS 3 Downtown Convention Center. Oklahoma City’s future headquarters hotel is a critical part of growing Oklahoma City’s appeal as a convention destination.

The presence of a headquarters hotel combined with the new MAPS 3 Convention Center is expected to multiply the impact of Oklahoma City’s growing tourism market, which already has an annual economic impact of $2 billion. The project itself is estimated to create more than 3,000 jobs and more than $370 million in economic activity.

Omni’s proposal included 600 rooms, 50,000 square feet of ballroom or meeting space, an upper upscale brand and potential connectivity to the Downtown Convention Center. According to Omni’s estimates, the proposed headquarters hotel would average a daily room rate of $193 and would generate $51 million in nightly stays and food and beverage revenues each year.
 



Network with the Chamber and learn how to get involved

 
If you want to get more involved with the work of the Chamber but aren’t sure where to start, then be sure to attend Rise & Shine on Oct. 25 at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. At this event you will network with other business professionals and learn new ways to volunteer with the Chamber while enjoying a complimentary continental breakfast. The breakfast will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. RSVP is required. For more information or to register, visit www.okcchamber.com/riseshine.

Special thanks to our Networking Event Sponsors: OU Physicians, American Fidelity Assurance Company, Liberty Business Park, Westgate Park and AT&T Oklahoma.
 



Welcome new businesses to OKC

 
Join the Chamber as it welcomes many new businesses with grand openings. Below is a list of upcoming ribbon cuttings, and you can find a complete list at www.okcchamber.com/grandopenings.

  • True Sky Credit Union, 2350 W Danforth Road (Oct. 20, 4:30 p.m.)
  • D & E Supply OKC, 3900 S. Harmon Ave. (Oct. 21, 11 a.m.)
  • Higher Ground Running, 9644 N May Ave. (Oct. 21, 4:15 p.m.)
  • Horace Mann Elementary School New Playground, 1105 NW 45th St. (Oct. 24, 10:20 a.m.)
  • Crown Lift Trucks, 3401 S Purdue St. (Oct. 27, 11 a.m.)


 



Upcoming conventions in Oklahoma City

 
The Oklahoma City CVB will welcome the following groups to Oklahoma City in the next few weeks. View a full calendar of upcoming conventions at www.visitokc.com/about/convention-calendar.

  • Mountain Plains Museums Association Annual Conference (Oct. 22-27)
  • U.S. Team Roping Championships (Oct. 22-30)
  • Oklahoma Square Dancing Federation Annual Festival (Nov. 4-11)
  • AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show (Nov. 5-19)


 

 

In case you missed it

 


Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and help us share Greater OKC Chamber’s events and news via social media.
 
 
   
   
         
 

You’re receiving this because you are a member of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber or requested to receive the ePOINT email newsletter

Unsubscribe

 

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
123 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
405-297-8900
thepoint@okcchamber.com
www.okcchamber.com