The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 December 2002

The thin blue line

Actually, it's not so thin; it's about a foot and a half wide, and due to get wider. The city of Bethany, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, stung by declining sales-tax revenues, has decided to remind its 21,000 residents just where they live by drawing lines across the pavement at the city limits. (Why blue? They match the street signs.)

Bethany's tax base has been eroding for some time, since there is little or no space for new industry or greatly-expanded retail facilities; it's mostly a sleepy college town, anchored by the somnolent Southern Nazarene University. And matters are not helped by the fact that Bethany is completely surrounded, by Oklahoma City on three sides and on the fourth by Warr Acres, which is happy to wave its 6.5 percent combined sales-tax rate in Bethany's face. (It's 8 percent in Bethany, and 8.375 in Oklahoma City.)

Not that Bethany is doomed. With airline travel stagnating, more people are hitting the road, and one of the roads they like to hit is historic Route 66, two miles of which pass through the center of Bethany. The main thing Bethany has to do is make sure those two miles look less squalid than the segment to the immediate east, which runs through Warr Acres. Somehow this doesn't strike me as particularly difficult.

Posted at 1:18 PM to Political Science Fiction

That's a pretty radical idea, but hey it might work. I got a chuckle out of it. Oh yeah, the story made today too.

Posted by: Marc at 7:00 PM on 11 December 2002

Probably the only time anything Bethany-related will ever get Farked. :)

I'm on the other end of the county from Bethany, but I see it on a semi-regular basis, and I don't think I've ever bought anything there other than gasoline.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:21 PM on 11 December 2002