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Proposal for increased sales tax in St Louis for police and fire moves forward

Posted June 29

— A proposal to raise the sales tax in an effort to give police and firefighters raises in St. Louis City passed out of committee on Wednesday.

If approved by the full Board of Alderman, the half-cent sales tax will go before voters in November and could generate up to $20 million a year for the city.

"In the short run it is the only way to immediately to generate the funds we need," said Alderman Steven Conway, Ward 8.

Alderman Conway says it is in direct response to St. Louis County voters approving Proposition P in April that will give St Louis County officers raises.

"We won't be matching dollar for dollar the salary but we'll be competitive so that we can keep the experience that we have on our streets," he said.

If approved, it would raise the sales tax to 9.7 percent in the city, more in parts of St. Louis where there are special taxing districts. In parts of the city, it will be the highest sales tax in Missouri.

City voters just approved a sales tax in April under Proposition 1. But Conway says that is mostly for the expansion of the MetroLink and while some of it will go to fund public safety, it won't nearly be enough to give raises to police and firefighters.

The full Board of Alderman will vote on the issue in two weeks.

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