Whew! We are almost through another Missouri summer. As I write this following a wonderful 4th of July weekend, we still have a handful of concerts and movies scheduled at our amphitheater yet this summer. The most exciting event on the horizon is “Taste of St. Louis” that we will have the privilege of hosting over the weekend of September 19-21.
County Sales Tax issue has not gone away!
The Missouri State Legislature adjourned on May 16 without any legislation that would benefit our city. Two Bills were introduced and assigned to the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives. We were able to testify at a committee hearing in support of one of the two bills. Although compromise was offered by our side, officials representing St. Louis County as well as their lobbyist were present to derail the proposed legislation. In spite of this, we will continue our efforts.
Although I have discussed the sales tax issue in the previous three issues of the newsletter, I have never described this angle or snapshot that shines a light on the gross facts of the distribution system. Each of the 57 “sales tax pool” cities (Chesterfield is a “pool” city) receives $127 per capita, while the average of the 33 point-of-sale cities is $207 per capita. (Point-of-sale cities keep all their sales taxes generated.) Even St. Louis County, who supposedly is watching out for the interests of the “pool” cities, receives $136 per capita. These are glaring facts that illustrate a huge discrepancy in the distribution of revenues within St. Louis County.
At this point, we don’t know how elections will turn out in the County or State, but I would suggest that everyone take the opportunity to let your State Representative and State Senator know that it is their responsibility to take action to change this outdated and onerous system that is mandated by State statute. Some legislators have remarked that the local leaders need to come up with a solution; however, I believe this is unrealistic as each municipality seeks to serve itself, instead of being receptive to modifications that are based on common sense, rationale and fairness.
I hope you will come out and enjoy the numerous activities we have planned for our residents this fall and I’ll see you on the trails!