Clayton could see higher taxes to help economic development

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 6:56 AM

 (KMOV) -- There is a big tax proposal to raise taxes in a well-off St. Louis County community which could mean higher sales and property taxes in Clayton.

The city is making its case for a package of four tax increases at an open house Monday night.

It boils down to the fact the city has run a deficit since the recession and staff reductions and cuts haven’t been enough.

“The sales tax items are to address the deficit. The two bond issues that we’ve proposed are to address critical infrastructure needs,” said Clayton City Manager Craig Owens.

The tax package includes a quarter-cent sales tax for downtown economic improvement. A lot of people work there but the city wants to host events to keep them there in the evening to shop.

Another quarter-cent sales tax would go to the fire department and EMS services to avoid deep cuts.

“About half our neighborhood streets are more than 20-years old, they were addressed with a bond package about 20 years ago so this is time to overhaul those streets,” said Owens.

The city is proposing a $15million bond issue to pay to repave half the residential streets and upgrade street lighting.

A popular feature at Shaw Park is the ice skating rink but the behind the scenes equipment is more than 50-years-old. A $12.6 million bond would include an upgrade and a multipurpose building.

“Host, not only a modern ice rink and all the wintertime activities but will also provide a better environment for year round activities,”

Combined, the sales tax would bring in a little over a million a year and the bond proposals would increase property taxes a little less than $20 a year on an average Clayton home.

Voters will decide in April.

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