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Aldermen want St. Louis voters to weigh property tax hike for children's services

Aldermen want St. Louis voters to weigh property tax hike for children's services

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St. Louis Board of Aldermen remote meeting

A screen grab of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting on Friday May 1, 2020. They met via a videoconferencing app due to the new coronavirus pandemic. 

ST. LOUIS  — City voters could decide on a property tax increase for early childhood education programs at the Nov. 3 election following action Friday by the Board of Aldermen.

The board voted 25-0 to schedule a vote on the issue, which was proposed by the city Mental Health Board. Mayor Lyda Krewson still must sign off on the measure.

The tax hike — 6 cents per $100 assessed valuation — would raise about $2.3 million annually. The money would aid programs and early childhood centers in the city's poorest areas, supporters said.

The owner of a home worth $150,000 would pay about $17 more a year in taxes.

In debate last month, some aldermen supporting the proposal expressed concern at the timing of the tax proposal amid the weak economy spurred by the coronavirus crisis.

Parking fund transfer

Aldermen on Friday also passed a bill transferring $5 million from the city parking fund to the city's general fund reserve over the objections of City Treasurer Tishaura Jones. The vote was 19-5.

Sponsor Jeffrey Boyd, D-22nd Ward, said the parking fund is in better financial shape than the city as a whole and that some of its reserves not committed to paying debt can help buttress city government during a time of steep revenue shortfalls.

Jones, whose office is in charge of city parking meters, lots and garages, said the shift is premature and that she wanted to wait until city officials have a better understanding of the revenue situation.

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