Chesterfield considering seceding, joining St. Charles County

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by Ray Preston / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 10:14 AM

(KMOV.com) –The mayor of Chesterfield told News 4 his city is considering seceding from St. Louis County because it is unhappy with the county’s sales tax policy.

Under the current law in St. Louis County, cities collect sales tax revenue, which then goes into a giant pot before being distributed to all the towns in the county.

Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation said the city projects it will put $14.5 million into the county pool and only get back 43 percent of that money. Parks told News 4 the amount of money his city has given away has increased over the years.

“We're well beyond the point of diminishing returns, if you want to talk about a negative return on investment we're there," Parks said. "It’s gotten to the point where we're not getting enough out of it to pay our own bills.”

Nation said Chesterfield needs more money to pay for infrastructure and police. He said the city is looking to leave St. Louis County and join St. Charles County.

The debate over tax distribution in St. Louis County has been a divisive one. Critics have said it punishes towns that have lots of economic activity.

"We're flattered they would want to be part of St. Charles County because they have a lot of things going on in Chesterfield," St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said.

Ehlmann told News 4 the process that Chesterfield would have to go through would be long. First, St. Louis County voters must vote in favor of secession and then the St. Charles County Council would then have to agree to put the measure on the ballot. Finally, a majority of St. Charles County voters must vote in favor of annexing Chesterfield.

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