Thank you for voting! Initiative 1, the PSO franchise fee renewal, passed with 74.1% voter approval and Initiative 2, the hotel/motel lodging tax increase, passed with 69.1% voter approval.

The City of Catoosa would like to thank those who took the time to vote in the August 8th elections. Local elections impact many important aspects of our community, including public safety, and your vote matters no matter which way you voted.

The Catoosa August 8th initiatives successfully passed with 71.6% average voter approval, which will allow the City to earmark revenue generated by the increased 1% franchise fee and 3% lodging tax to continue providing public safety personnel, equipment, and services as the city grows.

More details about the August 8th initiatives are available below. Once again, thank you for voting!

What’s on the ballot on August 8th?

On August 8th, Catoosa voters will consider two different initiatives that will ultimately benefit ongoing public safety efforts.

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What are the specific ballot initiatives?

Initiative #1 – PSO Franchise Renewal

If approved, Resolution No. 2023-601 would renew the Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s (PSO) existing franchise, which grants them the non-exclusive right to serve Catoosa customers for twenty-five years for a percentage fee to be paid back to the city. This will change the existing fee from 2% to 3% in January 2024. Revenue generated from the increased 1% fee would then be exclusively earmarked for public safety, including personnel and equipment.

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Did you know that cities cannot grant or renew a utility franchise without voter approval?

Initiative #2 – Excise (Lodging) Tax

If approved, Ordinance No. 2023-439-C would increase the excise (lodging) tax (i.e., tax levied on goods or services sold within a particular area) on the proceeds of all rent received from out-of-town guests at hotels and motels within Catoosa city limits from 5% to 8%. The existing 5% tax is dedicated to the Catoosa general fund. The additional 3% will be earmarked specifically for public safety. This change helps fund public safety needs created by visitors without any additional burden on citizens.

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Did you know that excise (lodging) tax on hotels and motels only applies to people who live outside Catoosa? It is not collected from local hotel guests. This means, if approved, visitors to Catoosa would be sharing the burden of public safety services they may use.

What do you, as a voter, need to know?

Both initiatives up for public vote on August 8th would benefit the city’s public safety efforts if approved. How? Revenue generated by the increased 1% franchise fee and 3% lodging tax would be dedicated to continue providing public safety personnel, equipment, and services as the city grows, so that we’re adequately staffed for the public safety burden that visitors create.

Did you know it costs $84,743.18 (minimum) to hire a new police officer, and $81,561.59 (minimum) to hire a new firefighter?

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Vote on August 8th

Local elections impact many important aspects of our communities, and we want to encourage everyone to get out and vote on August 8th. To check your voter registration status and find your polling place, visit the Oklahoma Voter Portal or the Rogers County Election Board.

Contact

John Blish
City Manager
214 S. Cherokee St.
Catoosa, OK 74015
Phone: 918-266-0806
Email: jblish@cityofcatoosa.org