Public input on possible St. Louis merger offered -

Public input on possible St. Louis merger offered

ST. LOUIS -- A legislative panel studying local sales distribution instead got an earful Wednesday from some St. Louis area residents hoping to discuss a possible merger of St. Louis city and county governments.

The Joint Interim Committee on St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area Governance and Taxation held a public hearing in Clayton. Among its mandates: help Missouri lawmakers determine whether combining the two governments into one makes fiscal and political sense.

State Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country, repeatedly told citizens that the hearing was intended to get input on the narrower sales tax issue as well as tax increment financing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported ( ). Allen is the joint committee’s chairwoman.

The city of St. Louis has acted as an independent municipality since voting to leave the county 137 years ago. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, County Executive Charlie Dooley and other merger proponents say a union could save taxpayers money and reduce government duplication.

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