City Hall elaborates on economic development incentives


Help support Sapulpa’s only local news outlet and keep local journalism alive. Subscribe to Sapulpa Times for just $4.99 a month.

New businesses coming to Sapulpa have two opportunities for support from the City of Sapulpa, Economic Development Incentive Policy and the Incentive Sales Tax Rebate Agreement for Downtown Food Establishments.

The Economic Development Incentive was approved by the voters in January 2020, Proposition #4.

Under the direction of the council, they created a policy to serve as a framework for these incentive monies, said Economic Development Director Mark Lawson.  

Sponsored by:

Each business and its needs are different, he added, even two businesses in the same industry, restaurants, for example, may have different needs or ask for different incentives.

“Council and I agree that we should retain a large degree of flexibility regarding these incentive monies so as to better meet businesses where they are able to offer an incentive that would benefit both the city and the business,” said Lawson.

Incentives can take on a variety of forms, from tax breaks, to building support infrastructure, or job creation.

He said enumerating a strict list of incentives is not beneficial to the city, existing businesses looking to grow, or bringing prospective new businesses to town.

The policy states in part all private projects must demonstrate one or more of the following benefits to be eligible for consideration of an incentive: 1. Expand tax base, 2. Increase full-time employment, 3. Encourage private investment, 4. Business retention and/or recruitment, 5. Development of targeted geographic areas such as Central Business District as defined by the Downtown Master Plan, Route 66 corridor or Town West area, 6. The City may determine that a specific project will bring extraordinary benefit to Sapulpa due to its magnitude or benefit to the community.

The City may approve one or more of the following for a specific project that demonstrates the ability to achieve the goals of the incentive program: sales tax and/or Ad Valorem in one of the three TIF districts, sales or use tax rebates, waivers or reduction of fees, or reimbursement of capital equipment.

Each request for incentives will be evaluated by City staff and a recommendation provided to Council and/or TIF committee as appropriate for full, partial, or no incentives.

The full “Economic Development Incentive Policy” and application is available upon request from the City of Sapulpa.

Lawson said, “The sales tax rebate for restaurants located in downtown was a policy adopted by the council to attract food establishments to that area.”

Restaurants cannot claim the Sales Tax Rebate and request Proposition #4 monies, he said. The current policy states the policy will end in June 2025. 

The “qualifications” are not hard and fast, he said, but the City asks for certain information on the application from each applicant. This information helps the council to determine the viability of proposals and the return on the city’s investment when making decisions.

Some of the information asked for in the 3-page application includes investment of own resources by the applicant, location of the business (do they have a current lease, own the building, etc.), estimated revenues, a Business Plan, and job creation.

“In general, the council looks to incentivize proposals that are sustainable, help to expand the existing tax base, create new jobs, and bring investment to our community,” Lawson said. “We would eventually like to create a landing page for interested parties to peruse and send inquiries/documents, but we currently do not have one. I am happy to discuss proposals with anyone interested. They can email or text me, whichever is easier, in the meantime.”

Mark Lawson can be reached via email at

Keep the good Times going

Your support helps keep Sapulpa's only news outlet going strong.