Excise Board: How Fast Can You Spend $600 Million???

By: Don Wyatt

The Special Meeting of the Tulsa County Excise Board on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, was not a surprise, but it was another disappointment for taxpayers. In less than an hour, hundreds of millions were approved with scarcely a question or comment by the Board.

The complete audio of the meeting is available below, but you’ll need the Agenda in order to follow the blistering pace of appropriations approvals during the first few minutes of the meeting.

The Agenda was not available for the public at the meeting, but you can get it here. Be careful…this document is designed to be printed on LEGAL paper (not “letter” paper), so you’ll need to shrink it to fit on a single piece of letter paper or take other steps to print the entire agenda (make sure you see “Adjournment” at the bottom).

Notice that neither the Agenda, nor the motions made and passed, identify which time period the Temporary Appropriations covered. If the Temporary Appropriations were for the balance of this current year (5 more days!!), then they are “legal” but unusual. If the Temporary Appropriations were for the next fiscal year, then they are arguably “illegal”, since they encumber ad valorem taxes not yet authorized or collected.

Notice also, that all 8 items listed under A were approved with a single motion and a single vote. Also notice how little time was spent scrutinizing and approving these appropriations.

We are taking steps to obtain the documents approved during the meeting in order to determine the amounts approved and the time periods that apply. Stay tuned for more on this issue.

Under Agenda Item B, four more substantial budgets were approved without scrutiny or comment. These budgets were NOT available to the public at the meeting.

The Tulsa County Budget and Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan WERE available for the public. The Budget included the minor change approved by the Budget Board on June 12, 2013, and is available here. This 266 page book may take a few minutes to download, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

We will post additional critique and comment on the Tulsa County Budget in the near future.


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