ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A vocal group of St. Louis City taxpayers lost a battle Wednesday to reinstate a required citywide vote before tax dollars could be used to fund a new football stadium. The showdown came before the Board of Alderman's Convention and Tourism committee. The committee refused to send Board Bill 207 to the full board by a vote of 5 to 3. Supporters had argued it was an insult to city residents to block a public vote.
The sponsor of the bill, Alderwoman Megan Green, urged her fellow aldermen to listen to taxpayers rather than to a "billionaire who wants to leave here anyway.”
On the other side of the issue, Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard said her constituents see the effort to build a new stadium as one that will produce jobs, jobs they want.
Critics of the taxpayer funding of the Jones Dome won an initiative petition measure in 2002 that required a vote to allow the city to use public funds for a sports stadium. But this summer a City Circuit Judge tossed out the law. That decision has been appealed, but it is not expected to come before the Missouri Appeals Court until next year.
A second bill, Board Bill 219 would authorize the city to help finance the stadium. It must be approved by the Ways and Means committee before it goes to the full board for a vote. Supporters may need to suspend the rules or win support for an extra board meeting in order to pass the measure before the holiday break.