ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Sam Page wants to spread the word about an open house on the potential annexation of an unincorporated part of St. Louis County near Manchester.

In just two months, voters will approve or reject a plan to annex an unincorporated area.

But before voters head to the polls in November, both the City of Manchester and St. Louis County want voters to be informed.

“If the annexation passes, their property taxes will go up, and they will lose the close relationship they have with the St. Louis County Police Department,” County Executive Sam Page said.

He said it is important for voters to know what the annexation means and how it will affect the 6,500 residents living in the area.

“We’ve heard from folks that are concerned that their property values will go down if they are annexed. In fact, that is the topic of one of the lawsuits that one of the citizens in the proposed annexation area has filed,” Page said.

St. Louis County has filed its own lawsuit against the Boundary Commission for the annexation proposal. Page believes the reason for the proposed annexation comes down to taxes.

“Manchester has a much higher tax rate and those businesses will bring a lot of revenue to Manchester when that new tax rate with the city of Manchester is applied to their current services, whether it’s applied with sales tax or gross earnings tax,” Page said.

The City of Manchester responded to the county executive’s remarks with the following statement:

County government officials in Clayton, especially Dr. Page, seem more interested in lawsuits and giving out wrong information than letting residents have a say at the polls.

St. Louis County is facing a large deficit, and they want to keep local tax dollars to use elsewhere in the county, not in the annex area. Annexation would mean local decisions on important issues such as services, not court battles.

Manchester’s goal has been to inform the community about the advantages of annexation, which are better and more services at a lower cost.

We believe the future of annexation should be in the hands of residents and not the court system.