I’ve been helping folks enjoy the good life in Rogers County and the surrounding area for more than 50 years—20 as a homebuilder and more than 30 as owner of Inola’s primary real estate agency.
I’ve learned a lot from my customers over the years. They don’t just want a place to live, they want a home that feels right. They want a good community with quality services and facilities. And they won’t put up with bad roads.
Back before Rogers Countyhad the penny road tax, we were just like Mayes, Wagoner and Nowata counties still are today. We had a lot of gravel roads.
I was selling houses in a new subdivision. They were good houses, they had all the features folks wanted, they looked good and they were priced right. So I had lots of calls from people who came up from Tulsa to see them.
Trouble was, most of them turned right around and left. They told me they had good cars and they weren’t going to ruin them driving on gravel all the time.
That doesn’t happen now that we have good paved roads. The penny road tax isn’t an expense, it is an investment. It keeps your home’s value up, so you get its full value when you’re ready to sell and either move up or downsize.
It is an investment in your car, SUV or truck. Have you painted a car recently? It costs a bundle, and gravel really does a number on paint jobs. Those washboard roads also tear up your suspension, tires and undercarriage. Well-maintained asphalt roads don’t do that.
It is also an investment in the safety of your kids, because their school buses have smooth roads with center lines and modern bridges between your house and the school house.
That tax also makes sure that the grass and weeds are mowed in the ditches and rights of way, so you can see oncoming cars and avoid wrecks. In the winter, it means there are plows and sand trucks to treat the roads so you can get to the store or to work.
If you want to look at details and numbers, we’ve got a great website you can visit at www.roads2013.com . If you still have questions, it has a place for you to ask them and we’ll get back to you with answers.
We believe in shopping here at home, in Rogers County. And that penny tax gives us another good reason to do just that. After all, every time we spend money at home we’re investing in our county roads and that means we’re looking out for our kids, our families, our property values and our whole way of life.
Those county roads also let us easily get to Claremore to shop. So why is the Claremore Chamber against the road tax? Do Claremore business owners really want to run off rural customers like they did when Claremore defeated the much-needed fire tax for rural fire departments?
Rural customers are good for Claremore. When we shop Claremore, we pay a three-cent city sales tax for city streets and services. I don’t understand why Claremore leaders resent collecting a one-cent county road tax that benefits all of us.
We’ve been investing in the penny sales tax since 1988. I hope you’ll join me in voting Yes on May 14 to renew that investment for another five years. And I hope you’ll talk to your friends, too. It’s the neighborly thing to do.
Tommy Dyer is chairman of Citizens for Rogers County 2013, an organization registered with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to support extension of the Penny Road Tax.