During the process of implementation of the One For Coweta Sales tax approved by Coweta voters 72% to 28% in September of this year, City of Coweta staff discovered a technical error. Oklahoma state statutes, specifically Title 11, Section 16-101, require that a Resolution Calling for the Election for any municipal election be published in a "newspaper of general circulation in the municipality" at least 10 days before the election date. While we did print and mail a voter information flyer to every Coweta utility customer, hold public meetings, and promote links to voter information online, we did not publish the Resolution Calling for the Election in the Wagoner County American-Tribune.
What does that mean? It means that in the interest of government transparency and compliance with statute, we expect to bring this proposition back to Coweta voters early next year.
The City Council was made aware of the error this week and directed city staff to pursue the re-submittal of the election for the proposed sales tax increase and to stop the implementation of the sales tax until that time. Local businesses will be informed via the Oklahoma Tax Commission about the changes directly.
At this time, we anticipate placing the new ordinance for the proposed tax and a resolution calling for the election on the December City Council agenda. If Council chooses to move forward with those actions, the election would likely be held on February 8th, 2022. After Council determines next steps for the City at the December meeting, watch for additional information on the City website, on Facebook, and on the OneforCoweta.com website.
We sincerely apologize for the error, and we are taking all necessary steps including asking the City Attorney and our Bond Counsel to help ensure we meet all requirements and publications moving forward.