St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green wrote a column proposing that city leaders ask voters to approve a $25 million no tax increase GO bond. The last time firefighters received any substantial capital equipment was 16 years ago through the 1999 GO bond issue.
She writes, “Our firefighters provide essential services to the community. Yet, vital equipment needed to do their jobs is not supported by the ½ cent sales tax in which the police, parks and recreation and the wards receive annually. Firefighters receive no dedicated capital funds to address critical equipment deficiencies, and for some fire equipment a one-year lead time is needed.”
For taxpayers, the tax levy was decreased and property taxes were lowered during the recent recession and after. The tax levy dropped from a high 30 cents to a low 13 cents today. The city should not ask taxpayers to increase property taxes until first asking them to make full use of the current levy.
According to the St. Louis Development Corporation, the consolidation of the Refuse Department is ready to be finalized this spring, also generating a need for funds.
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