As the saying goes, timing has a lot to do with the success of a rain dance. That’s especially true of tax proposals.
Oklahoma County officials had planned to submit a $350 million jail proposal this spring, but decided to delay that action. Officials worried that placing the issue on the ballot at the same time as school board elections could hurt turnout for either the tax question or the board races.
Regardless of timing, the half-cent sales tax increase is likely to face resistance from voters. And regardless of timing, the current jail will remain inadequate.
Although officials have addressed most jail critiques raised by the federal Justice Department in 2007, the remaining problems require major structural changes. If the facility isn’t replaced, it may be just a matter of time before the federal government takes it over.