By SHERI GASSAWAY
The St. Louis Labor Council’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) has endorsed seven propositions for the April 2, 2019 municipal election. The endorsements were based on recommendations from the Franklin County, Jefferson County, Tri-County and Warren County Labor clubs.
The City of Pacific is asking voters to approve two half-cent sales tax measures:
Proposition P – Would fund parks and stormwater improvements
Proposition S – Would be used for street repairs and maintenance.
Each measure is expected to raise about $400,000 annually, or $800,000 combined. If both measures are approved by a simple majority, the overall sales tax in the city would increase to 9.975 percent from 8.475 cents.
Proponents say the repairs would improve the city’s infrastructure, provide a better environment for new businesses and housing developers, and provide more matching funds to get additional funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Proposition S – The Fox School District is asking for a $70 million bond issue tied to a 40-cent property tax increase that would go toward updated building safety and security, additional classrooms and other facility needs for all buildings throughout the district. The measure requires a 4/7 majority vote for approval.
The district’s current property tax rate is $4.55 cents per $100 dollars assessed valuation with 39 cents of that for the debt service levy. If the bond issue is approved, the overall levy would increase to $4.95, with 79 cents for debt service. The increase would cost a district resident with a home valued at $150,000 an extra $114 a year.
Proposition F – The Festus School District is seeking a 59-cent property tax increase to generate funding for general operating purposes, building renovations, additional safety and security improvements, continued technology upgrades and construction of a new performing arts center.
The increase would raise the district’s tax rate from $3.74 per $100 of assessed valuation to $4.33. The average value of a home in the district is $120,000. If the measure is approved by a simple majority, a homeowner with a $120,000 home would pay an additional $135 a year. The proposition needs a simple majority to pass.
Proposition 911 – Jefferson County 911 Dispatch officials are asking voters to maintain the one-half-cent sales tax collected in the county to fund the agency. Voters approved the tax in 2009, but it contains a sunset clause that allows the tax to be reduced by one-quarter-cent by Oct. 1, 2019. The tax will continue to be used for providing 911 emergency telephone service and the central dispatching of ambulance, police, fire and other emergency services.
ST. CHARLES COUNTY
Proposition R – The New Melle Fire Protection District is asking for a 10-cent property tax increase per $100 of assessed valuation that would be put in a special fund to be used for a pension program in the district. District officials say the program is needed to maintain the experience level and to attract highly skilled firefighters to meet the district’s growth.
Proposition S – The Wright City Fire Protection District is seeking a 17-cent property tax increase per $100 of assessed valuation to continue providing quality emergency services to the community by keeping current staffing levels, maintaining all four fire stations within the district and ensuring access to appropriate training for its staff.
See the full list of endorsed candidates and propositionsfor the April 2 ballot here.