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Cornett's appeal helped pass tax extension, poll shows



A recent poll shows just how wide support for Oklahoma City's 1-cent sales-tax extension stretched.

Passage of the measure March 4 means the sales tax enacted in 2002 for MAPS for Kids will be extended for up to another year and a half beginning Jan. 1, 2009. The money will go toward renovating the Ford Center and possibly building a practice facility for a professional basketball team.

According to data from, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett has approval ratings only Gov. Brad Henry could match. According to the poll, Cornett garners, in general, an 81 percent approval rating in his city, with 52 percent strongly supporting him.

"It's no wonder he was able to carry the message for the tax extension and it was successful," said Bill Shapard, president of "They certainly put the assets that would help them the most in the right place."

Shapard compared the Oklahoma City vote to last year's Tulsa river-tax vote, which was soundly defeated. The tax would have been used to spur economic development along the Arkansas River.

"The Tulsa river-tax vote failed because they put George Kaiser on the advertising," Shapard said, referring to the head of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. in Tulsa. "You've got the richest man in the state, and you're saying, basically, 'I'm going to put up $100 million, and if you will put up the rest, I'm going to be a richer man.' That's the reason that failed. That mistake was not made with this vote because Clay Bennett was nowhere to be found." "Scott Cooper


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