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Understanding Props 1 and 2 in upcoming municipal election

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – In less than two weeks, St. Louis City voters will go to the polls for the April 4 municipal election.

Among the issues to be decided: Propositions 1 and 2, which are connected and can be confusing.

Proposition 1 is a half-cent sales tax increase in St. Louis City, which is expected to generate $20 million a year. A lot of that money will go to a big north south MetroLink extension. The extension basically goes from Cherokee Street in the south to just beyond the new NGA site to the north.

Proposition 2 is a “use tax” increase that primarily applies to St. Louis City businesses that buy goods outside of Missouri. The “use tax” increase is dependent upon Proposition 1 passing.

If Prop 1 passes raising the sales tax by a half cent then the use tax will increase also by a half cent.
It is that use tax increase which could fund the city’s $60 million share of helping to build a new Major League Soccer stadium downtown near Union Station.

But the Prop 2 funding source for the soccer stadium won’t happen without Prop 1 passing. So if you support the MetroLink extension and the soccer stadium then you want to vote yes on both Props 1 and 2.

If you support the MetroLink extension but not the soccer stadium, then you’ll want to vote yes on Prop 1 and no on Prop 2. And if you don’t want either the Metrolink extension or the soccer stadium, vote no on both Prop 1 and 2. If Prop 1 passes and Prop 2 fails, the use tax will still increase by a half-cent with the sales tax.

But the additional use tax funds will go into the city’s general fund instead of the soccer stadium. Both propositions need only a simple majority to pass.