The results for GAPS tax propositions are finally in. While voters said yes to roads and education, fifty three percent of voters cut Ardmore's sales tax for jobs program. Ardmore Development Authority CEO Wes Stucky didn't see this coming.
"It passed overwhelmingly three times in the past and failed this time, which is somewhat surprising," Stucky said.
During the program's run a quarter cent of all sales tax went to the Development Authority. The ADA put the money toward incentives to attract growing companies to the area. It now expects to lose one point six million dollars in funding every year. Stucky said the election results show a shift in priorities.
"People in Ardmore are saying that roads outside of Ardmore are more important than jobs in Ardmore," said Stucky.
The loss of funding also means the ADA will have to cut the fire department and control tower in the Ardmore Airpark. Some voters find these cuts necessary to save money. James Lemaster voted no on all of GAPS.
"We've got too many taxes as it is," said Lemaster. "It keeps going up every year, and I don't think it should be raised."
But the battle isn't over for GAPS. Chairperson for the campaign Jessica Pfau said just because voters didn't renew sales tax for jobs doesn't mean it isn't necessary.
"It doesn't lessen the need," Pfau said. "So we've got to go back and figure out how to address that need."
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