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St. Peters Voters OK Tax Hike for Parks and Storm Water Projects

Voters pass a 4/10 of a cent sales tax.

The  must have worked. 

Voters took to the polls in St. Peters on Tuesday to vote on —a proposed 4/10 of a cent sales tax. Late Tuesday night the unofficial votes rolled in, and Prop P passed with more than 68 percent of the vote.

Here's how the voting broke down:

With 33 precincts out of 33 reporting:

  • Yes:  6,051 votes, 68.10 percent
  • No:  2,835 votes, 31.90 percent

Prop P is a tax increase with the money going to fund parks and the storm water budget. The city requested more money toward funding and maintaining the city's parks and the  and furthering the development of . Additionally the city was in need of $119 million to fund more than 100 storm water projects for a federal program. The current storm water fund of $600,000 a year is nowhere near the $3.9 million the city projects it needs yearly to fund the projects.

City officials pitched Prop P as the best choice for residents. Three other funding options were considered: a property tax increase, an additional fee on utility bills or the sales tax increase. The city decided a four-tenths of a cent sales tax would be the way to go. Voters on Tuesday agreed. 

We'll have more on this later. 

Shanna Houghton August 08, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Hey Tom how about this, STOP spending money on stupid cra$ throughout the city, flower boxes, flowers, flags, red light cameras, new handicap orange grids on every sidewalk corner, a MEGA mansion library, etc, etc, etc! Start there.......when you've stopped with the stupid $$$ spending THEN TALK TO ME ABOUT A INCREASE.
steve August 08, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Just another stupid tax! The Man will probably want more money next year for the same thing. So get used to it.
Melvin August 08, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Do you all think something comes from nothing? Do you like living in St. Peters? Do you like our Rec-Plex and nice parks? This stuff isn't free folks.
Shanna Houghton August 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
we paid for the replex A LONG TIME AGO.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Hello. Yes, I am a retailer AND a property owner in St. Peters. I've been against this from the beginning. I have to include taxes and fees when I bid things. Higher rate, I lose business, St. Peters gets nothing. The stormwater regs have been known for years, this is nothing new and was a Red Herring to get people to go for it. This money will go to the money pit known as Lakeside 370.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Shanna, the article above even states that some Prop P money is going to the RecPlex. Its' rates are not enough to fund its' operation (typical Govt accounting), so everyone funds it even though only a small percentage ever use it.
Jaycen Rigger August 08, 2012 at 02:02 PM
When we moved to St. Peters, we were aware the tax rate was on the higher side. The city is very clean, has a good police force for the most part, and offers a lot of public services (paid for by us). What bothers me is the attitude of the aldermen and the mayor who's justification for new taxes seems to be "all the other cities are doing it".
Jaycen Rigger August 08, 2012 at 02:03 PM
No, they didn't look into it. The guy who tried to stand up against it at the meeting was told to sit down and shut up. Everyone here should have been at that meeting. We needed to have our own yardsign campaign, too.
Jaycen Rigger August 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Tom, regardless of whether I'm a retailer, I get to have a say. Your logic is fallacious. Also, regardless of who is upset or not is irrelevant to whether I'm justified in being upset. Grow up, sir. The city of St. Peters should simply refuse to participate with the EPA. Let them sue us, as they are suing several small cities across the country. Someone has to stand up to the tyranny.
Mike August 08, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I'm just glad the voters were more informed than most of those commenting.
Jaycen Rigger August 08, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Thanks for explaining that to us simpletons, Melvin. No, the concern is the idea that we have to pay $3.9 million to clean rain water before it dumps into local creeks. Why don't you explain to us morons how that makes sense? You know, rain water is basically the cleanest stuff on earth. All of Australia subsists on rainwater. They don't treat it, either. They just drink it and shower with it.
Jaycen Rigger August 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Great point, J.B. We use it often, but we'd be willing to pay a small fee for the services each time we visit.
deb August 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Just what we need to pay more taxes, like we are not paying enough already,,,, let the big business pay that get T.I.F. Build more strip malls so they can stay vacant.We can pay there taxes too......
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Here are the facts, the Board only considered three options (as reported previously multiple times), so that means: They did NOT consider cutting spending anywhere else and increasing the parks and stormwater budget . They also did NOT consider bonding this (which means they have no confidence that the empty stores will be filled and generate tax revenue any time soon). They did NOT consider a lower tax for the stormwater only (or for parks only). And they must NOT have considered raising revenue from other means like concession revenue or sponsorships of a dock, snack bar, beach or anything else at Lakeside 370. What this proves it that the Board (while I like most of them personally) do not have a business or finance background and are ill equipped to deal with these issues and take what the City employees tell them as fact.
Melvin August 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Shana, once you pay for a building there are still huge maintenance costs associated with it, especially with a facility like the Rec-Plex. Jaycen, This is a Federal requirement. The $3.9 million is not just for the filtering of the water, it's also to reapir the infrastructure to prevent floods. I, for one, would rather pay a little extra to have a city that is proactive rather than have them borrow the money from loans and getting into financial trouble like so many other cities today.
Melvin August 08, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Agreed. I am glad the educated voters turned out to pass the proposition rather than all of the keyboard warriors on here.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Also, if it were a property tax, it would have been spread between residential and COMMERCIAL property (which has a grossly higher rate) and my guess is that it would have been cheaper for the residents, but the City probably figured it had no chance getting a property tax increase approved by voters. A sales tax nickels and dimes you to death. (I do love the examples they gave 40cents on $100, not $100+ on your next car or $75 on a remodeling project or $50 on a new roof) and of course, the big selling point is the misnomer that 'non St. Peters buyers are paying for part of it'. Guess what? As many that come into St. Peters to shop live there and shop elsewhere. Zero sum game, in that regard.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Mike and Melvin, I doubt that either of you were 'informed' by anything more than the BS the City fed you. I sign the FRONT of paychecks and know first-hand what overreaching Government and high taxes do. I voted with my wallet and moved my business out of Clayton to St. Peters six years ago. Now, I will vote with my wallet again, move my corporate sales dept to where I can save my clients over 2% on their purchases (I have many choices) and only the poor local retail clients will be hurt by this. As a retailer, I collect sales tax, I don't pay it, so it doesn't hit me personally except in lost sales. More importantly, this takes money out of my customer's pockets to give to a chosen few. It did make up my mind for me that I will not be buying the property up for sale next to me. So, for that I thank those few St. Peters voters who actually voted and voted 'Yes', since they saved me from a third of a million Dollar mistake.
Melvin August 08, 2012 at 03:44 PM
JB, sounds to me like this is more of a personal issue as you are a business owner. I voted for this as a RESIDENT. I like my parks. I like the Rec-Plex. I like when it rains and my home doesn't flood. I am not sure what type of business you have, but this hike will not be noticed by 99% of St. Peter's residents. Also, residents are not going to drive to O'Fallon or St. Charles to save a buck on groceries. The gas wasted on the trip is enough to negate the cost. I also don't see anyone driving through St. Peters that decides to get off at the next exit to save a few cents on their purchase.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The sad thing about this is that St. Peters is more and more unattractive to businesses. If the City would have concentrated on becoming business-friendly they would get those vacant shops filled and this tax wouldn't have been necessary. But then again, when things eventually pick up, the pot of tax money will now be even larger- maybe that was the whole plan ? Face it, if even half the unfilled spaces were adding to the sales tax pool, there would be far, far more than this tax provides. Not to mention the still undeveloped property would add to property taxes and possibly sales tax (depending on what goes in). With the demise of the St. Peters Chamber of Commerce (it was absorbed by the St. Charles one) there is no local emphasis on St. Peters and no way for the business, let alone retail community to work together. That the City simply is not focused on growing the business base of St. Peters and that truly unfortunate part for the residents the property owners and the businesses which have chosen St. Peters as their home.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Melvin, you are correct, it is more personal. It effects my customers and therefore my livelyhood. You are worried about flooding. Guess what? you've now allowed the City to encroach on your private land to do what they deem appropriate. I'm not even getting into that arguement as I don't have first hand knowledge of its' ramifications. What I do have knowledge of is that purchases of my product run in the Thousands to Tens of Thousands of Dollars, that increase IS noticed and as a result, as I said, I will move that part of my business out and St. Peters will get NO money from it. Other larger ticket retailers might do the same, the result is better for our customers and worst for you, the resident. But then again, the City doesn't do squat for the businesses generating tax revenue anyway. Heck, we can't even get a sign to tell folks to stop cutting through our private property to avoid the stop light. Or, a bag of free mulch for our landscaping like the residents do (from the piles of it at Recycle City) they SHOULD be giving it away to anyone who'll take it. But I digress. Time to actually sell something to pay my bills.
will August 08, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Congratulations voters! You successfully passed every tax increase on the ballot in this county (propositions p, r, and t). Now, when you go to the polls in November, I suppose you'll expect the politicians that you elect to take you seriously when you tell them you want lower taxes and less government spending. Good luck with that.
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I'd really appreciate it if all you St. Peters residents would do one little thing. PLEASE, PLEASE, go into at least five local retailers (not the national guys in the mall), the local places where the owners are in the shops and ask them if they even knew there was a sales tax increase on the ballot. My guess is, with few exceptions, only the ones who live in St. Peters even knew it was coming. Please do this so you know what effect this has. The City never bothers to communicate with the businesses (unless you are one of the minority ponying up to be in the Chamber) and most owners are so busy trying to keep the doors open, they can't spare the time to concentrate on politics. So, again, PLEASE ask next time you are at the local bakery, gift shop, deli, anything. I'd truly love to hear the feedback.
will August 08, 2012 at 05:11 PM
If anyone truly believes that the St. Charles Camber of Commerce was in favor of this tax because they didn't opose it must be sipping from the same Koolaid as our city officials. Why would they ever oppose a new tax in another city; it's a bonanza for St Charles businesses
Cassandra Langley August 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I actually am an educated voter, thank you very much, I looked into it and considered it and gave it plenty of thought over the weeks and I voted NO on this tax increase. My company's trying to save money by cutting employee pay increases... energy costs are going up... I'm still having to make do with the same paycheck I have no matter how many of these tax increases pass and I wish the city could do the same. Cut from somewhere else rather than take more from us. Just because the taxes are lower than other cities in the area is a horrible justification for proposing an increase. So I am pretty disappointed.
Calyptratus August 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
You really believe this? Do you see how many new residents are here in St Peters paying taxes? Government is a nepotistic reirement Ponzi scheme - you know this money could be had from reducing pensions that taxpayers pay for - I can barely pay for my own
Mike August 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
J.B., The City HAS cut spending, but you wouldn't know about that because you have not researched this as well as you like to think you have. They are trying to SAVE services and things that MOST RESIDENTS tell them they enjoy or want. Obviously MOST RESIDENTS agreed, because the proposition passed. They did bond this in a previous election, but if you had read the materials, they did not go forward with the bonds when the bottom dropped out and property values dropped 11 percent. After that happened, there would not be enough money to repay the bonds without a tax increase. Now they can do that. Also, had you really researched this issue, you would have found that a very small percentage of this tax is going to parks or the Rec-Plex. The required storm water issues will be fixed and if there is anything left over, the parks wish list will be fulfilled. If you know someone who wants to "sponsor a dock, snack bar, beach or anything else at Lakeside 370", I'm sure the City would love to hear from them. I read a week or two ago that the Olde Tyme Picnic folks donated a pavilion at Lakeside Park. The City even put up a sign naming it The Olde Tyme Picnic Pavilion.
Mike August 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Also, RESIDENTS who actually "get it" don't want the utility fees raised. I read Francis Howell North would have to pay around $90,000 if that happened. They’re not the only school in town. Either the schools would come back to us for more property tax money to pay for it, or our kids would suffer. Retailers would be hurt much more than a little tax increase because how would they pay for a utility increase based on impervious surfaces? They would either raise prices or go out of business. And what about churches, etc.?
J. B. August 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Mike, I passed seven City vehicles on my way to work today. A dump truck with a water tank watering the trees along Spencer while one employee was sitting in the passenger seat typing on his phone (guess those cuts didn't include useless staff). Two really nice, new looking pickups with 'street dept' on them, another with 'traffic' on it, yet another dump truck that was labeled 'streets' a unmarked SUV, a pickup marked 'utilities' and another unmarked and a bucket truck. Only the first was actually doing something. So, since you think the City is actually frugal, I guess you know why those departments can use 'pool' trucks ?? Could they share the bucket with neighboring cities, how many days a year is it actually used?? They all need their own? I think not! Waste, waste waste. Oh, and they could still issue the bonds when the economy improved, nothing in this constituted an emergency requiring this tax now, the City just wanted its' money now, not waiting to spend like us normal folks who actually know how to budget. So, how much did the ASK ME ABOUT PROP P signs on City vehicles cost ? Who paid for it ??? More importantly, if I would have stopped an employee and asked them about it, taking them away from their paid duties, how can that be justified as a prudent expenditure?
Bill August 10, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Please consider that we are a bedroom and retail community. We have alot of retail and that makes us a destination for shoppers. They buy here becaise of our diverse retail shops you can buy anything you need in St Peters. Big retail uses this and small retail rides the coattails of big retail. If you are only selling because your the cheapest "big ticket item around" find a new place ro sell. I've never appreciated the I am the cheapest around approach. Instead "the best" appeals to me, with a fair price.

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