State lawmaker proposes tax to help build MLS stadium

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The Rams departure from St. Louis continues to stir up talk of an MLS bringing a team to St. Louis.

A state lawmaker has just proposed a new tax to fund a $100 million St. Louis Soccer Stadium.

St. Louis has repeatedly packing the big house (Busch Stadium, Edward Jones Dome) for World Cup soccer teams and the little house (Soccer Park) for St. Louis FC games.

With the Rams now flying the coop, MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, has said St. Louis has a little momentum for landing the MLS.

Now comes Missouri House Bill 2378, from Florissant Rep. Keith English.

“We received notification that the MLS was interested in making St. Louis a soccer home again.

With the latest renderings it comes at the right time for proposed legislation for funding such a stadium,” English told FOX 2 from his office in Jefferson City.

There have been renderings of the billion dollar riverfront stadium for the Rams which could have doubled as an MLS home and even unsolicited renderings of a soccer stadium at Union Station.  There’s still no team, no owner.   But English wants to keep the ball rolling and make sure lawmakers and taxpayers have a “say” this time.

“The people didn’t get to vote on the football stadium.  I thought that was the biggest burn.

Whether you liked it or not they didn’t get a say so in it,” English said.

His bill calls for public votes on a one-tenth of one percent sales tax in St. Louis City and County to raise the $100 million. The tax would end once the money is raised.  It would likely take 7 to 10 years.

The tax would only take effect if there’s a team here by 2020, with an iron-clad lease.

“We’d have to get a signed contract, a 30 year contract, so we don’t have the same thing happen that the Rams did, that’s key… (for) a lot of soccer people up in North St. Louis County, soccer is still #1, more than any other sport, including baseball.  So, I look forward to moving this bill forward.  I really think it’s got some wings and will fly,” English said.

He expects a hearing on his bill next week.

There’s no confirmation of "formal" talks to bring the MLS to St. Louis but obviously there's something going on.

Garber was here in May talking up St. Louis, even attending a fan rally Ballpark Village.