Wednesday BOA Hearing on Earnings Tax & Bond Issue

City Hall39 am Wednesday, January 13, 2015
St. Louis City Board of Aldermen
Ways & Means Committee
Leisure Room (Room 230), City Hall

Public Hearing on Board Bill 265 to place St. Louis City Earnings Tax Reauthorization on April Ballot 

Sponsored by Alderman Steve Conway (8th Ward) and Co-Sponsored by Alderwoman Dionne Flowers (1st Ward), Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard (5th Ward), Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia (6th Ward), Alderman Jack Coaar (7th Ward), Alderman Joe Vollmer (10th Ward), Alderman Tom Villa (11th Ward), Alderman Larry Arnowitz (12th Ward), Alderwoman Beth Murphy (13th Ward), Alderwoman Megan Green (15th Ward), Alderwoman Donna Baringer (16thWard), Alderwoman Cara Spencer (20th Ward), Alderman Antonio French (21st Ward), Alderman Jeffrey Boyd (22nd Ward), Alderman Joe Vaccaro (23rd Ward), Alderman Scott Ogilvie (24th Ward), Alderman Shane Cohn (25th Ward), Alderman Frank Williamson (26th Ward), Alderwoman Lyda Krewson (28th Ward).

A public vote on reauthorizing the Earnings Tax is required every five years in St. Louis City and Kansas City because of a statewide ballot issue funded by billionaire Rex Sinquefield in 2010.

The Earnings Tax produces about 1/3 of St. Louis City’s annual General Revenue.

Public Hearing on Board Bill 266 on Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, Sponsored by Alderman Joe Vaccaro (23rd Ward)

Public Hearing on Board Bill 267 on Carnahan Courthouse Leasehold Revenue Refunding Revenue Bonds, Sponsored by Alderman Joe Vaccaro (23rd Ward)

Public Hearing on Board Bill 268 to place $20 Million GO Bond Issue on April Ballot, Sponsored by Alderman Scott Ogilvie (24th Ward) and Alderman Tom Villa (11th Ward).

On August 4, 2015, St. Louis City voters rejected a $180 Million GO Bond Issue to fund an assortment of projects.

On December 8, 2015, St. Louis City Comptroller Darlene Green proposed a $25 Million GO Bond Issue dedicated to replacing equipment for the Fire Department and not requiring a tax increase.

As currently written, the bond issue proposed under Board Bill 268 differs from the failed August $180 Million Bond Issue significantly: 1) in dollar amount, 2) does not require a raise in property taxes, and 3) does not include a piece of the pie to Ward Capital Improvement Accounts.

As currently written, the proposed bond issue is similar to the failed bond issue with regards to a laundry list of what it might fund, as opposed to being earmarked for one department/project, as voters approved three times in 1998.

Board Bill 268 proposes funding for:

(1) acquiring fire trucks, ambulances, personal protective equipment and other fire-fighting apparatus for the St. Louis Fire Department

(2) acquiring refuse trucks for the Refuse Division

(3) funding bridge repair through the Bridge Maintenance Program

(4) property appraisal software for the Assessor’s Office

(5) renovating property owned by the City of St. Louis, including but not limited to the Municipal Garage and Property Custody facility

Some important words in this proposal are “including but not limited to…” It means the revenue may be used for other purposes.

The proposal can be amended in committee. It appears, though, that the proposal changed significantly prior to being introduced.

On November 3, 1998, St. Louis City voters approved three bond issues. Prop 1 was $44 Million, all earmarked for Fire Department. Prop 2 was $10 Million, all earmarked for the Police Department. Prop 3 was $10 earmarked for demolition and abatement of nuisance property.

Those 1998 ballot issues were consistently cited as “the bond issue” of “1999” by media and local government officials throughout the 2015 bond issue campaign.

Public Hearing for Board Bill 269 for a Quit Claim Deed by City to Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Center for property in The Ville Neighborhood, sponsored by Alderman Sam Moore (4th Ward).

Members of the BOA Ways & Means Committee include: Alderman Steve Conway (8th Ward), Alderman Chris Carter (27th Ward), Alderman Antonio French (27th Ward), Alderman Terry Kennedy (18th Ward), Alderman Sam Moore (4th Ward), Alderwoman Beth Murphy (13th Ward), Alderman Scott Ogilvie (24th Ward), Alderman Joe Vaccaro (23rd Ward).

Board President Lewis Reed is a voting member of all committees.

Contact Information for Members of the Board of Aldermen

Contact Information for Board President Reed

There will be a 7th Ward April Ballot Issues Forum at 7 pm Monday, February 15 at Lafayette Park United Methodist Church. Open to the Public.

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