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Sunday Poll: Support or Oppose a Regional Sales Tax for the St. Louis Zoo?

Please vote below
Please vote below

In the news last month was the idea of a 5-county sales tax to support the St. Louis Zoo:

The chief executive of the St. Louis Zoo says a regional sales tax is the right way — and perhaps the only way — to preserve the zoo and its animals for years to come.

President Jeffrey Bonner, in an impassioned argument for a five-county sales tax, said the zoo needs money to repair sewers, roofs and animal exhibits on its 100-year-old Forest Park campus. And it can’t consider operating a proposed 300- to 400-acre conservation breeding site without the new tax.

An admission fee is not the answer, Bonner said. Charging nonresidents for entry would create long lines, discourage attendance, reduce visitor spending and cost the zoo an estimated $50 million in turnstiles, ticket booths and the like. (Post-Dispatch)

The tax, if passed, would be collected on sales in the following counties: Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, and the independent City of St. Louis. Currently, the Zoo receives about $20 million annual from a property tax in St. Louis city & county.

This is the subject of today’s poll:

The poll is open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Readers On Transportation Funding: Index Fuel Taxes To Inflation, Tax Miles Driven

April 27, 2016 Taxes, Transportation 3 Comments

The non-scientific Sunday Poll asked about transportation finding:

Q: Current state & federal fuel taxes aren’t enough, pick two alternatives:

  1. Index fuel taxes to inflation 21 [32.31%]
  2. Tax miles driven 20 [30.77%]
  3. Tax roads (tolls) 16 [24.62%]
  4. Tax cars (registration, etc) 6 [9.23%]
  5. Tax barrels of oil, not gasoline/diesel 2 [3.08%]
  6. Unsure/No Opinion 0 [0%]

As you can see, three got double digit responses. I personally like all three. Let’s look at some pros & cons of each:

Index fuel taxes to inflation

  • PROS:  simple, easy to understand. An improved version of what we’ve had for decades
  • CONS: electric vehicles don’t contribute to road maintenance

Tax Miles Driven

  • PROS: fair to all drivers (internal combustion & electric), drive more — pay more
  • CONS: privacy concerns about monitoring devices, fraud prevention a challenge

Tax Roads

PROS: no privacy issues

CONS: those who drive non-highways wouldn’t pay

Conclusion

The way we’ve been funding transportation hasn’t worked for a long time. Going decades with raising the fuel tax is foolish — it ignores inflation. We’ve also built too many roads and not enough public transit.

We can get out of this, but it involves changing the way things are done. We must recognize inflation and technology requires us to change. The first step is to raise state & federal fuel taxes and to index them to inflationism. The next step is to look at way to document miles driven that do need create privacy concerns.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: Best Alternatives For Future Transportation Funding?

Please vote below
Please vote below

At state & federal levels, money for transportation infrastructure is running out; fuel taxes haven’t been raised in years, vehicles are more fuel efficient, electrics are set to go mainstream, etc.  States, like Illinois are looking at other ways to fund construction & maintenance:

There is a proposal in Illinois for the state to put a device on cars to see how many miles citizens are driving.

The state would take that data to use in order to charge a tax on drivers depending on miles driven. It’s all in an effort to make money because the state is losing out on gas tax revenue thanks to more fuel efficient cars on the road. (KMOV)

Other states are testing the same idea, driving more miles costs you more. Which brings us to today’s poll — using alternatives listed in the WSJ:

The poll answers are in random order, open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Readers Support 3 of 5 Propositions on Tuesday’s Ballot

Here are the results from the Sunday Poll (see for full ballot language):

PROPOSITION E Shall the earnings tax of 1%, imposed by the City of St. Louis, be continued for a period of five (5) years commencing January 1…

  • YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION 32 [78.05%]
  • NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION 9 [21.95%]
  • Undecided 0 [0%]

PROPOSITION F $25 million dollar bond

  • YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION 26 [72.22%]
  • NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION 8 [22.22%]
  • Undecided 2 [5.56%]

PROPOSITION 1 School Tax Levy Increase

  • YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION 25 [69.44%]
  • NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION 10 [27.78%]
  • Undecided 1 [2.78%]

PROPOSITION Y MSD Bonds

  • YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION 19 [43.18%]
  • NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION 22 [50%]
  • Undecided 3 [6.82%]

PROPOSITION S MSD Property Tax for operations

  • YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION 12 [31.58%]
  • NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION 24 [63.16%]
  • Undecided 2 [5.26%]

The polls here are non-scientific, actual voting will vary.

Until there’s a vote on a tax to replace the earnings tax, I’ll vote to continue every five years.  I’m still uncertain on the other four, though I’m inclined to vote yes on all of them. Anyone want to argue the pro or con position on any of these?

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Five Propositions On April 5th Ballot

The April 5th ballot in the City of St. Louis contains five items. Today’s poll is actually five polls — one for each on the ballot. They are in order, with the exact ballot language first, in ballot order.  Please vote in all five.

Please vote below
Please vote below

PROPOSITION E

Shall the earnings tax of 1%, imposed by the City of St. Louis, be continued for a period of five (5) years commencing January 1 immediately following the date of this election?

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

Shall the following be adopted:
PROPOSITION F
Proposition to issue bonds of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, in an amount not to exceed Twenty-Five Million Dollars ($25,000,000) for the purpose of purchasing, replacing, improving, and maintaining the buildings, bridges, and equipment of the City of St. Louis, including (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 Department; (3) updating computer hardware and software for City departments; (4) providing match share funds to repair, renovate, and replace bridges; (5) renovating recreation centers, buildings, and facilities owned by the City of St. Louis; and (6) for expenses associated with the issuance of the bonds. If this proposition is approved, the property tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged.

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

OFFICIAL BALLOT SCHOOL TAX ELECTION CITY OF ST. LOUIS STATE OF MISSOURI

PROPOSITION 1

Shall the Special Administrative Board of the Transitional School District of the City of St. Louis be authorized to increase the operating tax levy of the District by $0.75 per $100 of assessed valuation to continue offering early childhood education, to expand character and alternative education options, to improve safety and security equipment and personnel, and to offer competitive salaries to teachers and staff? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted operating tax levy of the District is estimated to be $4.50 per $100 of assessed valuation.

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

BOND ELECTION
THE METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS SEWER DISTRICT

PROPOSITION Y

To comply with federal and state clean water requirements, shall The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) issue its sewer revenue bonds in the amount of Nine Hundred Million Dollars ($900,000,000) for the purpose of designing, constructing, improving, renovating, repairing, replacing and equiping new and existing MSD sewer and drainage facilities and systems, including sewage treatment and disposal plants, sanitary sewers, and acquisition of easements and real property related thereto, the cost of operation and maintenance of said facilities and systems and the principal of and interest on said revenue bonds to be payable solely from the revenues derived by MSD from the operation of its wastewater sewer system, including all future extensions and improvements thereto?

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

THE METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS SEWER DISTRICT

PROPOSITION S

Shall the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) impose a Stormwater Operations and Maintenance property tax upon all real and tangible personal property within the district at a rate of not more than Ten Cents ($0.10) per One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) assessed valuation for the purpose of providing revenue for the operations of the district’s stormwater utility, including stormwater system operation and maintenance, rehabilitation and limited construction of infrastructure and other capital improvements, and an operating reserve?

If this proposition is approved, MSD will repeal (a) the existing stormwater operations and maintenance property tax of approximately Seven Cents ($0.07) per One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) assessed valuation that is imposed on property within the original boundaries of MSD, as defined in the MSD Charter, and within the annexed areas described in MSD Ordinance No. 3753, and (b) the existing monthly 24-Cent or 18-Cent stormwater service charge that is imposed on each MSD customer account. As a result, a uniform districtwide stormwater revenue system for operations, maintenance, and limited capital improvements will be in place.

YES – FOR THE PROPOSITION NO – AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS: To vote on a proposition, if you are in favor of the proposition, darken the oval to the left of the word “YES.” If you are against the proposition, darken the oval to the left of the word “NO.” Do not try to punch through the ballot. Use only a pencil or blue or black ink to mark your ballot. If you tear, deface, or make a mistake and incorrectly mark your ballot, notify an election official to obtain a new ballot.

These non-scientific polls will remain open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

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