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Mayes County schools benefiting from business growth

Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools
Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 08:01:37-04

MAYES COUNTY, Okla. — State leaders say that plant would be built at Pryor’s MidAmerica Industrial Park.

Now some leaders in Mayes County want to also pass a tax increment finance district to help lure the company to Pryor, something that could benefit school districts there.

With the addition of more businesses in the MidAmerica Industrial Park, Mayes County school districts are benefiting from the increase in tax revenue.

“Nothing is off the table at this point,” Lori Helton the Chouteau-Mazie Public School superintendent said.

With the recent announcement of Canoo moving to the MidAmerica Industrial Park the Chouteau-Mazie school district will see an increase in their budget from the added tax revenue.

Plus, if an unnamed fortune 500 company, believed to be Panasonic, chooses to come to the park Chouteau-Mazie would also benefit from it.

“Over the course of the next 4 to 5 years we should see a triple budget compared to what we have now,” Helton said.

The district’s current budget is around $12 million dollars.vThe increase in money would allow them to improve facilities, expand school programs and increase teacher salaries.

Which is some of what Pryor schools have done with their budget increase after Google moved into the industrial park.

“We have built a new elementary school. We have remodeled our existing facilities. We’ve added on to both the middle school and high school facility, built some new athletic facilities,” Dr. Lisa Muller the Pryor Public School superintendent said.

The net assessed valuation for Pryor Public Schools went from $79 million to $844 million.

If the TIF district passes this week, the unnamed company would get a tax discount on the property. Helton says they support it because she says this is not redistributed taxpayer money but brand new tax dollars.

“Which about 67 cents of every dollar would go to Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools," Helton explained. "So the district felt like it was important to work with the commissioners on this TIF district to be able to get that revenue for our school district because right now the valuation of that property is $0.”

Commissioners are expected to vote on the TIF district Wednesday afternoon.

While Chouteau-Mazie would benefit the most from this possible new company coming in, Pryor schools would see some benefit through the county millage rate.

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