St. Louis Board of Aldermen vote to put half-cent sales tax incr - KMOV.com

St. Louis Board of Aldermen vote to put half-cent sales tax increase on ballot

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The Board of Alderman voted on Friday to put a sales tax increase in St. Louis City on the November ballot.

The majority of the tax increase will pay for adding officers and raises for existing police personnel. Other money left over will help in updating recreation centers, public outreach and youth development, with a goal of reaching young kids to help keep them from living a life of crime. Any money left over will go towards vacant and abandoned buildings in an effort to clean up neighborhoods.

Now that it has been approved by the full Board of Aldermen during the vote, the half-cent sales tax will go before voters in November and could generate up to $20 million a year for the city.

“In the short run it is the only way to immediately to generate the funds we need,” said Alderman Steven Conway, Ward 8. 

Alderman Conway said it is in direct response to St. Louis County voters approving Proposition P in April that will give St Louis County officers raises. 

“We won’t be matching dollar for dollar the salary but we’ll be competitive so that we can keep the experience that we have on our streets,” he said. 

If approved, it would raise the sales tax to 9.7 percent in the city, more in parts of St. Louis where there are special taxing districts. In parts of the city, it will be the highest sales tax in Missouri.

City voters just approved a sales tax in April under Proposition 1. But Conway says that is mostly for the expansion of the MetroLink and while some of it will go to fund public safety, it won’t nearly be enough to give raises to police and firefighters. 

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