St. Peters eyeing sales tax increase for parks and storm projects

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by Brian Feldman / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

ST. PETERS, Mo (KMOV.com) -- A sales tax increase could be coming to St Peters in August.

If the majority of voters approve it, an increase of four tenths of one cent would apply to all consumers. 

The money would serve two main areas: parks and storm projects. 

News 4 found out one of those is getting money from consumers one way or another.

St. Peters says it wants this extra money to maintain its parks and trails, but it also says it needs funds to reduce flooding and pollution in their streams. 

They say the storm water issue is something many cities are going to face in the future, and they want to fix the problem now.

“The way I see Proposition P is it’s really a quality of life issue for the residents of St. Peters,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Hustler.  “It’s a four- tenth of one cent sales tax for parks and storm water and that’s what it’s dedicated for.”

The city says the storm water money is not just wanted, it’s needed.  More than $100 million dollars in projects will happen one way or another.

It could be with a slight sales tax that is put on anyone who comes to the city, or it could be forced on residents at a much higher rate.

“This money can only be spent on storm water projects and the trails. If Proposition P doesn’t pass this project still needs to be done because they’ve got to meet federal regulations,” said Communications Director Lisa Bedian. “It’s going to mean that property taxes would go up.”

That’s in addition to a huge utility fee.  City officials say they are trying to get ahead of the curve in fixing these issues so residents don’t have to pay so much money later on.  They say it also would allow them to make a popular part of their city even better.

“When people come to us and talk to us about our parks and recreation facilities, they say one of the reasons they chose to live in St. Peters is because of the way we keep our parks,” said Hustler.

This sales tax will go on the ballot on August 7.

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