What is MAPS?
MAPS stands for Metropolitan Area Projects. So actually, it’s MAP’s, but no one spells it that way.
How does it work?
It’s a penny on the dollar sales tax for a certain number of years. The tax dollars raised are dedicated to a specific list of projects determined by the City Council and Mayor. But, it must then be approved by the voters in Oklahoma City.
And this is MAPS 4?
Yes, the original MAPS was approved by voters in 1993. A similar initiative that physically rebuilt the Oklahoma City Public School System and included money for the suburban school districts was passed in 2001 and was called MAPS for Kids. MAPS 3 was passed in 2009. If things go as scheduled, the public could get to vote on MAPS 4 this upcoming December.
Who gets to vote?
Well, it’s just like any other election in that you have to be a registered voter. But, you also have to live inside the city limits of Oklahoma City and sometimes that can get confusing.
Is MAPS just about downtown?
No, but some people try and characterize it that way. The intention of the original MAPS was to invest in the urban core. MAPS for Kids and MAPS 3 spent hundreds of millions of dollars outside the city core. And if approved, MAPS 4 will likely spend even more money in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Yes, MAPS uses a ‘pay-as-you-go’ spending philosophy so the city doesn’t spend the money to build the projects until the money is collected. Therefore, there is no debt. It takes longer to build the projects this way but by not increasing our debt, it allows us to have more money to build more projects. MAPS has also always been overseen by a diverse citizen advisory panel, and that will be the case this time as well.