Officials: Petition seeking tax increase for educational funding may fall short

Previous petition for teacher pay raise

OKLAHOMA CITY – A petition that was seeking to increase educational funding through a local income tax may not have the necessary signatures to move forward with a public vote.

The petition calls for a half-percent income tax on most Oklahoma City residents to raise money for annual stipends for teachers, school nurses and support personnel at local public schools. The tax would expire after four years and would not be levied on low-income residents.

Officials say the petition needed 11,991 legally sufficient signatures to trigger a public vote.

The petition, which was submitted on Nov. 9, contained 16,998 signatures.

However, officials say only 9,090 of the signatures were legally sufficient, which is about 3,000 short of the required number.

Officials say signatures were rejected if they didn’t provide a post office address, were not registered voters or failed to provide their street and home address.

City staff is working to double-check the petition signature page for accuracy. The city clerk will issue her final determination on Thursday.