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New funding proposals unveiled for 2 Oklahoma museums

A Senate panel approves measures that would provide the use of certain tax receipts for the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: May 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm •  Published: May 16, 2013
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A Senate committee pitched a new funding plan Thursday for two Oklahoma museum projects.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 16-10 to use tax revenue from Internet and out-of-state purchases to provide $40 million to help complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City.

The panel also voted 13-12 to divert $40 million in state sales tax collections to provide initial funding for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, commonly called OK Pop, planned for the Brady District in Tulsa.

Sen. Clark Jolley, the committee chairman, said money would start being allocated to both projects in the 2015 fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2014.

Jolley, R-Edmond, said the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum would receive use tax receipts for three years. A use tax is collected in lieu of a sales tax if a local resident makes a purchase online or out of state.

OK Pop would receive sales tax money for four years, he said.

The funding for the Oklahoma City museum would be for construction only and not for management, Jolley said.

“By finishing it we are cutting our losses to some extent because we will start to be able to have operational dollars flow into it,” he said.

Both proposals now head to the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget, which is expected to take them up early next week.

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