Proposed luxury high-rise sparks debate on tax breaks

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ST. LOUIS – New construction is going up throughout St. Louis.  Many of the projects are tied to tax breaks and that’s sparking a debate.

It comes after plans to build a 36-story luxury high-rise in the Central West End were unveiled.  But the development will only happen if builders get a sales tax break from the city on construction materials.

Some redevelopment commissioners say giving incentives for every project puts too much burden on taxpayers.

But many agree without the tax incentives, it’s difficult to attract new projects to the area.

The tax abatement has already been approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the ordinance that was signed into law by former mayor Francis Slay. The bonds for the sales tax exemption on materials does not go before the board; the next stage is for the bond issuance to be presented to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment for approval.