January 16, 2013 - The County Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night approve legislation placing a sales-tax increase on the April 2 ballot that would improve the Arch grounds and county parks if approved by voters.
Proposition P is a three-sixteenths of 1 percent sales tax that would fund safety, security and improvements to county parks and the Arch grounds if approved by voters.
Look for full details in next week's Call.
Our previous story is below:
Council eyes final OK of placing Arch sales tax on April 2 ballot
The County Council was set to consider final approval this week of a measure placing a sales-tax increase on the April 2 ballot that would improve the Arch grounds and county parks.
The County Council was scheduled to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.
The council voted Jan. 8 to give initial approval to the legislation, which is "a matter of regional importance," according to 6th District Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton.
As proposed, Proposition P is a three-sixteenths of 1 percent sales tax that would fund safety, security and improvements to county parks and the Arch grounds if approved by voters.
Sixty percent of revenue generated from the tax would go to the Great Rivers Greenway District, with the remaining 40 percent designated for county parks.
Stenger told the Call before the Jan. 8 council vote that he wants residents to vote on "things of public importance." He also said the question is not whether he supports the tax, but whether it should be put to a vote of the people, which he believes it should.
Stenger noted under the county's "current budgetary constraints," it has "plenty of money to maintain our parks and have upkeep on our parks."
Mac Scott, spokesman for County Executive Charlie Dooley, previously told the Call if the sales tax is not approved, county officials will have to "be more prudent with (their) spending."
Stenger said voting in favor of the tax as "a way to somehow fund our parks in St. Louis County" is not the purpose of the proposition.
"To say that this tax is in some way needed because our parks system is in trouble … it's unnecessary for that purpose," he said, "but if a voter wants to vote for the tax because it would improve the Arch grounds ... then I think that would at least be a legitimate basis to vote for the tax."
To go into effect, the sales tax must be approved in St. Louis County and either St. Louis City or St. Charles, all of which are members of the Great Rivers Greenway District.
Roughly $38 million would be generated annually for the three jurisdictions, and roughly $6 million would be generated annually for St. Louis County parks.