Using Hotel Taxes To Make Neighborhoods Stronger

Best Western, Townplace Suites, Country Estates. One of these is the name of a neighborhood and not a hotel, but in Owasso there's a link between property value and passing through.

"It has been terrific," said Owasso city manager Rodney Ray.

It is the city's Strong Neighborhood Initiative, which raised the city's hotel/motel tax by 2%, raising $180,000 over the past five years to pump back into community enhancements.

"We've used that money to offer grants to neighborhoods. When they want to rebuild their neighborhood entrance or do something in the neighborhood," said Ray.

"We are applying for two grants, received the first one, and that allowed us to use some funds to re-landscape our entrances as well as purchase some street sign toppers," said Owasso resident Jeff Paul.

Country Estates has over 700 homes and has used the funds to create greater sense of cohesion.

"Developing unity within the city of Owasso, but also within the neighborhood," said Paul.

The Strong Neighborhood Initiative; harnessing the purchasing power of out-of-towners to directly improve the lives of in-towners.

"Really have people take pride and take interest in their neighborhood and that's the foundation of how a community really grows," said Ray.