Taxpayers funding private St. Louis parking lot - KMOV.com

Taxpayers funding private St. Louis parking lot

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A state audit revealed that tax dollars were spent on a private parking lot in downtown St. Louis that is not accessible to the public.

The parking lot falls in one of the special taxing districts in the state which charges an extra tax that goes to the developer to pay for improvements. 

In 2009, a special taxing district was formed that asked four businesses to charge one cent extra in sales tax. From 2010 to mid-2013 the tax district collected nearly $29,000. The board for the special taxing district comprised the developer of the building adjacent to the parking lot and other employees. According to the Missouri State Auditor, the 32 spaces in the Washington Avenue parking lot should be available to anybody. However the sign on the gate to the lot says otherwise.

The head of Bruce Development Company was contacted for a comment but were unresponsive

"There's thousands of [special taxing districts], and they can't all be audited," said Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich. "Fortunately, when we look at transportation districts ... most of the ones we've seen ... are well run by responsible business owners who understand the rules and play by the rules."

The board of the special taxing district stepped down last year and sold the loft building and parking lot to a Kansas City company. According to the auditor, the new board is looking at the audit and seemed unaware any rules were broken.

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