St. Louis City Comptroller Proposes $25M No Tax Increase GO Bond
firefighters need essential fire equipment
As Comptroller, I must advise that with voter approval, the current tax levy allows the city to issue $25 million in GO bonds with no tax increase.
City leaders owe taxpayers the responsible management of their tax dollars before asking them to vote to raise their taxes.Most recently this past August, voters rejected a $180M GO bond that would have raised taxes.This spring city voters will be asked to protect the earnings tax, which I strongly support.
At the same time, I propose that city leaders ask voters to approve a $25M no tax increase GO bond.The last time firefighters received any substantial capital equipment was 16 years ago through the 1999 GO bond issue.
Our firefighters provide essential services to the community.Yet, vital equipment needed to do their jobs is not supported by the ½ cent sales tax in which the police, parks and recreation and the wards receive annually. Firefighters receive no dedicated capital funds to address critical equipment deficiencies, and for some fire equipment a one year lead time is needed.
For taxpayers, the tax levy was decreased and property taxes were lowered during the recent recession and after.The tax levy dropped from a high 30 cents to a low 13 cents today.The city should not ask taxpayers to increase property taxes until first asking them to make full use of the current levy.
According to SLDC, the consolidation of the Refuse Department is ready to be finalized this spring;also generating a need for funds.
If asked, I am confident that St. Louis city voters will support our firefighters and approve $25M no tax increase GO bonds this spring.They won't see higher real estate taxes and firefighters can receive essential equipment to better serve the community.
This is the first of a "Money Talk" series the Comptroller will issue providing insight into governance and matters impacting the fiscal welfare of the St. Louis citizenry.
Office of the Comptroller