Michael Overall: When Broken Arrow gets $23 million, should Tulsa get jealous?


When builders ditched plans to construct an outlet mall in Tulsa and moved the undertaking to Jenks a few years in the past, it was undeniably a victory for the suburb and a loss for the town.

Perhaps it was an empty victory, as a result of the mall hasn’t truly been constructed but. And perhaps Tulsa was glad to maintain improvement away from a controversial website close to Turkey Mountain. However within the competitors to woo buyers, Jenks went after tens of millions of dollars in gross sales tax income that Tulsa had been anticipating. One group’s achieve was the opposite’s loss.

In an analogous state of affairs, Costco situated its first native retailer in south Tulsa as an alternative of constructing just a little farther south in Bixby. Tens of millions of dollars in gross sales tax income have been up for grabs, they usually wound up in Tulsa’s palms. Bixby had each proper to really feel disillusioned.

So when the Tulsa World reported final week that a $23 million challenge was coming to Damaged Arrow, there was some grumbling from Tulsa residents.

“Why Damaged Arrow?” they bellyached. Why didn’t the mayor or the Metropolis Council or the Chamber of Commerce convey the funding to Tulsa?

However this wasn’t a retail improvement. Alfa Laval, a producer based mostly in Sweden, is constructing a sixty eight,000-sq.-foot facility to make air-cooled warmth exchangers. So there was by no means any gross sales tax revenues to battle over.

And the corporate wasn’t deciding between Tulsa and Damaged Arrow however between Damaged Arrow and a number of other out-of-state prospects. The roles might have gone to New York, Pennsylvania or Texas.

As an alternative, about one hundred jobs are coming to Oklahoma. And the individuals who get these jobs will purchase homes — a few of them in Tulsa. And they’ll buy groceries — typically in Tulsa. And they’ll pay state and county taxes that can be reinvested in authorities providers that may profit the entire metropolitan area.

Tulsa and the suburbs could be rivals when making an attempt to draw retailers, however with regards to creating jobs, all of us win. Damaged Arrow’s achieve will probably be Tulsa’s achieve too.



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