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Senior citizen artists

Elaine Ketchelmeier, 91, shows off her watercolor painting of a wintery scene she painted during an evening art class at Sunrise Senior Living in Des Peres on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

CLAYTON • St. Louis County voters likely will be asked to approve a slight property tax increase that would provide $11.7 million annually for senior citizens’ programs.

A resolution to place the measure on the November ballot was introduced to the County Council on Tuesday night. County Executive Steve Stenger said he expects the council to approve the legislation next month.

Similar resolutions will soon be presented to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the St. Charles County Council, said Jamie Opsal, program manager for Seniors Count of Greater St. Louis.

The nonprofit organization Seniors Count is pursuing a regional approach through property tax increases to address transportation, medical, nutritional and other needs of adults 60 years and older.

If voters approve, the St. Louis County ballot initiative would increase county property bills by 5 cents for each $100 in assessed valuation.

That would amount to an additional $9.50 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

An independent board in each of the three jurisdictions would be appointed to oversee distribution of the tax money generated.

Stenger envisions easy passage of the measure that will be presented to voters as Proposition S.

“I think this type of tax sells itself,” the county executive said.

Seniors Count chose to introduce its regional plan in the county with the largest concentration of seniors in the region before approaching lawmakers in the city and St. Charles, Opsal said.

The nonprofit group wants to generate $2 million in senior program funding from St. Louis city residents and $4 million from homeowners St. Charles County.

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Steve Giegerich is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.