In addition to electing Stillwater’s mayor, city residents will be asked to consider two tax proposals when they go to the polls Feb. 8.
The City Council approved two separate resolutions Monday that put an increased sales tax for roads and an increased lodging tax on the ballot.
The road tax would repeal a one-half cent sales tax dedicated to transportation that voters extended for 10 years in November 2015. The tax, which generates about $4 million per year, is set to expire in 2026.
If approved by voters, the current sales tax would be repealed and replaced with a full one-cent tax that would sunset in 10 years.
Another resolution asks voters to increase the tax collected from visitors when they stay in hotels or other short-term lodging. The tax, formerly known as the hotel tax will now be called a “visitor tax” and the rate would be increased from 4% – where it has been since its inception in 1985 – to 7%.
In other business:
The City Council, and the same councilors acting as the Stillwater Economic Development Authority, also voted to accept a gift that will eventually total more than $3.5 million from Stillwater Designs/Kicker and its founders Steve and Becky Irby. The gift includes $2.7 million to develop a public space and entertainment venue on Block 34, a vacant city-owned block in downtown Stillwater and $800,000 to provide dedicated funding for programming and maintenance of the space over 10 years.
The design and engineering – estimated at $270,000 – is also being provided by the donors.