Vote No On Amendment 7 – August 5th

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The table is set for Missouri’s vote on constitutional Amendment 7 on August 5th. After two years of machinations in Missouri’s state legislature, the sales tax increase to boost MoDOT’s budget passed near the end of the 2014 legislative session, trimmed from a 1% hike to .75% before getting a final vote. Missouri governor Jay Nixon in late May set the election date for the August 5th primary, leaving a mere 6 weeks for MoDOT and regional planning agencies around the state to program $6 billion in new spending over a decade.

MoDOT has been in search of an additional revenue stream, as the flat gas tax has been untouched by the legislature since 1996 and has fallen to the seventh lowest in the nation. Meanwhile, money borrowed by MoDOT between 2001 and 2010 to fund an accelerated construction program is running out, while federal stimulus funding from the recession simultaneously expires. The net effect is MoDOT will have a reduced construction program after a decade of their most robust construction and expansion budget in recent history.

While Gov. Nixon has made few public statements about the August 5th election date, its generally accepted that primary elections in Missouri trend more republican than general elections, hence the chances of passing a large tax increase are slimmer. Nixon opposes Amendment 7 since it would boost highway spending at a time when the republican led Missouri legislature passed a phased income tax cut, which will limit spending on other state responsibilities like education for a decade or more.

Planning agencies around the state responded to the accelerated election date in different ways. In the St. Louis region, East-West Gateway (our Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)) cancelled its stakeholder process (a committee I participated on) and gave the project selection responsibility individually to the five Missouri counties in their planning area. MoDOT worked separately with the Mayor’s office in the City of St. Louis and with the County Executive and St. Louis County Highway Department. Despite the fact that St. Louis City and St. Louis County largely share one transportation network and Metro covers both areas equally, project decisions were made independently.

The project lists generated by local counties and approved by MoDOT’s commissioners on July 9th are below (see link). The City’s list is a mix of complete streets projects, greenways, and seed funding for a streetcar (which Metro has not endorsed) and two Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes (which Metro has). Despite being the transportation hub for the entire region, the city’s funding allocation from MoDOT was based only on population – meaning the City is likely under-funded in regards to the size and importance of its actual infrastructure to regional transportation.

The St. Louis Area Final Project List

St. Louis County received both the region and state’s largest funding allocation, with over $800 million in new spending available. The County was one of the few jurisdictions in the state with enough funding to make a substantial impact on transit service. Their project list shows they decided to go in a different direction, allocating a mere 2% to transit projects. Without the County leading the way on transit, and without City/County cooperation, the City was forced to play small-ball on its transit desires.

Notably absent anywhere on the St. Louis regional list is funding for existing Metro service. Transit advocates (me included) have long noted the glaring absence of state funding for local transit agencies in Missouri. For some, the promise of a new, flexible revenue stream was enough to swallow the bitter pill of a regressive sales tax increase that would push St. Louis and Kansas City to the top of the list for sales tax rates nationally. In 2013 I argued before state House and Senate committees that the tax increase proposal needed a guaranteed funding floor for transit in St. Louis and Kansas City. Ultimately the bill passed with no guarantees, the mantra repeated many times at the state level was, “Regions can decide on their own transportation priorities.”

With that message in mind, any analysis of the St. Louis region’s project list can come to only one conclusion: In our region, its still all about highways. Regionally only 5.5% of funding would go to transit projects, and a substantial amount of that (The central corridor streetcar, for instance) will require another local tax increase before MoDOT releases funding. The region’s highway system, already one of the most robust per capita in the country, would see expansions almost across the board outside of I-270. Nearly $200 million in new spending would be allocated to add new lanes to I-55, Highway 94, I-64, and I-44.

Placing these highway expansions in context is important. The core of the St. Louis region, St. Louis City, County, and St. Charles County, have seen only a 1% increase in population since 1970. Over the same period, the United States population grew by 34% while Missouri grew by 22%. The St. Louis region has low traffic congestion. Moreover, the region has seen annual declines in total miles driven since 2007 and is about the same as 1999. Despite all indications that the region already has an overbuilt regional highway system, passage of Amendment 7 would expand it further.

Missouri State Highway VMT

Along with lane additions, St. Louis County placed an equal level of importance on complete rebuilds of portions of the interstate system. MoDOT’s phrase, “Improve I-270”  belies a $350 million expenditure with little detail attached to it. Similarly $200 million would be spent to “Improve I-70” between Natural Bridge and Hanley Road. These highway rebuilding projects and lane additions account for the lion’s share of the county’s funding allocation. The round numbers attached to these projects, $200 million and $350 million, reveal that they’ve yet to have environmental or engineering studies completed, meaning the figures are simply best guesses as to what the projects might really cost.

Leading into the effort to pass the tax increase, MoDOT lead a state-wide “listening tour” they dubbed, “Missouri on the Move”. To their credit, they surveyed thousands of Missouri residents and published the results of their work in February of this year. 62% of St. Louis area residents who responded to the MoDOT survey prioritized expanding public transit, while only 40% prioritized expanding the region’s road network. When MoDOT released the region’s project list in July, it revealed a different set of priorities for regional elected leaders. The vast majority of funding would go to rebuilding and expanding highways, with only about 3% of the region’s allocation guaranteed to be spent on transit. Absent, and off the table for at least another decade, is a substantial transit project like a North/South MetroLink expansion.

MoDOT survey

Following the political efforts to pass the transportation tax increase closely over the last two years, one thing becomes striking: How little conversation there is about transportation. We have the facts. MoDOT’s own data shows a robust highway system in good repair with record low levels of congestion. Driving is declining, while Missouri’s aging population and sluggish population growth is likely to extend that trend. The conversation has been reduced to this: “All transportation spending is good transportation spending.” No analysis has been done on how adding lanes to existing highways will increase MoDOT’s future maintenance costs, perhaps requiring future asks for additional tax increases.

Virtually absent has been a conversation on how transportation spending affects land use. Transportation spending in the St. Louis region over the past 5 decades has primarily accelerated the depopulation of the urban core and portions of St. Louis County. In the last two decades the population of many American cities rebounded after 30 years of declines. Not so in St. Louis, where the decline merely slowed. Without oversimplifying the issue, the correlation between a rapidly expanding highway system and consistently declining population and real estate values in the urban core could not be more clear.

Transportation infrastructure can move people away as easily as it can draw them in. Context matters. In a region desperate for new population, a highway expansion boom is likely to undermine already struggling areas. Smart transportation spending requires planning that can’t be done in 6 weeks. Missouri’s road network is already in comparatively good shape. The state has plenty of time to develop a more equitable, intelligent, strategic plan for transportation spending. The false sense of urgency cultivated by MoDOT is leading the state head-first into a decade of spending aligned neither with resident preferences nor the transportation needs of the future.

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  • http://donspoliticalblog.blogspot.com Don

    Moving transportation funding away from general revenue and the fuel tax is reason enough to vote “NO”. This is just one step closer to replacing the equitable graduated income tax with a regressive sales tax. No, no, no.

    • moe

      The other reason to vote “NO”, as if one is needed, is that every crap idea that comes out of Jeff City is a ‘constitutional amendment’. Well such stupidity may work for the rural idiots that continue to vote in these regressed ‘politicians’ (using that term very lightly), us more educated folks (and yes there are some educated rural folks but obviously not enough of them) know that the only reason they add most constitutional amendments is because once passed and enacted, they are extremely difficult if not impossible to revoke. It’s no wonder they always try and get these things passed on low-turnout elections.

      • Bryan Kirchoff

        My, my, sir… Speaking as a current, enthusiastic City resident, but one who was raised among the “rural idiots” you speak of, perhaps you may want to step back your assessment a bit. After decades of one-party rule furnished by its sophisticated urban electorate, is the City of St. Louis a poster child for effective governance? Some may think so, but the droves that moved out might disagree.
        I go back and forth on whether a sales tax or gas tax is the best way to pay for roads, but since the commentary here clearly goes one direction, I’ll play devil’s advocate:
        1) First of all, this claim that a gas tax would force people who use the roads to pay for them, which evokes images of trucking companies and SUV drivers… So Metro busses are not going to pass along increased fuel costs in their ticket prices? Trucking companies are simply going to absorb higher fuel taxes, rather than passing the costs on to eventually wind up in the product price you pay? Everybody uses the roads, directly or indirectly, and everybody winds up paying for them, one way or another.
        2) On a related note, since when has the idea of having people pay for things they do not use become offensive to progressivism? A wide number of government programs absolutely depend on people paying for things that other people use.
        3) There is also the idea that a sales tax is regressive, because each penny represents a higher percentage of a poor person’s income. First, how would a gas tax fix that, especially given that poor people tend to have less efficient cars? Second, the sales tax apparently will not apply to food, medicine, utilities, or fuel, i.e. necessities, so no needy people are going to suffer sticker shock at the grocery store more than they do now.
        Let’s just keep in mind in the future that “idiot” is not defined in Webster’s as “someone who does not vote like me”.
        Bryan Kirchoff
        St. Louis

        • moe

          So we’ll put you down as one of those ‘educated rural folks’ which I gave credit to. Bottom line….this sales tax is wrong for way too many reasons. Constitutional amendments are very difficult to remove. They are usually put on the ballot on low-voter turnout elections. Both St. Louis and Kansas City are the economic powerhouses of the State.
          I added my additional reason to Don’s original ‘no’ reason. You counterpointed. Let’s leave it at that so we don’t get off on a tangent.

          • Bryan Kirchoff

            I did take note of your concession in your original post, but I can assure you that the outstate populace warrants more credit than that. More so, strongly implying that lack of education makes one vote Republican is not a very persuasive hypothesis; the St. Louis metro’s urban core has very high dropout rates, yet the “St. Louis Republican elected official” is a mythical creature at this point. But so be it – I will depart from the subject with that.
            I agree that a constitutional amendment seems an unnecessary means, but Governor Nixon (an opponent of the tax) is the one who put it on a low-turnout election date. Ironically, he was probably worried that high November turnout in tax-friendlier jurisdictions like St. Louis and Kansas City would cause it to pass.
            Bryan

          • STLEnginerd

            That or maybe the he wanted to preempt what was likely to be long marketing campaign by well heeled supporters. The jury is still out on whether or not it was a wise choice… Personally my gut tells me its likely to pass but I voting no.

            If it was a compromise solution where it was a modest permanent rise in gas tax with a partial temporary sales tax increase to support the values that were clearly identified in the listening tour MoDOT organized (expand bike ped transit, MAINTAIN roads and bridges) i could have supported it. The fact that this money is being earmarked for EXPANSION of I70 to 3 lanes as well as other expansion which will only increase the maintainance burden, with only crumbs dedicated for transit, AND it is it freezes the gas tax so that when this tax expires the funding shortfall will be even more precipitous than it is currently, and will mandate an extension of the “temporary” sales tax increase into perpetuity.

            Send it back and let them develop a bill that actually solves problems.

        • Imran

          And Mr Devil’s Advocate,
          How would you rationalize freezing the gas tax for 10 years?

          • Bryan Kirchoff

            Sir or ma’am,
            How do you rationalize raising a tax on a near-necessity (fuel), causing numerous poor folks with inefficient cars to pay more, rather than raising taxes on less-necessary consumer items that people can more freely choose to buy or not buy?
            Bryan

          • Adam

            How do you rationalize allocating so little for public transit when those poor folks with inefficient cars wouldn’t even have to own cars if transit were sufficiently funded? As for those who live far from town centers and urban areas, nobody has forced them to live there. There are always exceptions of course, but the vast majority chose to do so. Why should those who choose to live in urban areas be expected to prop-up their auto-dependent lifestyles and get relatively little in return in the way of transit? Clearly we need some people to live in rural areas–farmers for instance–and we need to maintain rural roads and highways to an appropriate degree. But we have been subsidizing sprawl for decades to the detriment of our urban and town centers because there is money to be made in construction. Continuing this tried-and-true scam, this amendment was written by those who stand to profit from highways and highway construction regardless of the impact on our already-struggling cities and towns and regardless of the impact on the environment.

        • rgbose

          Metro doesn’t pay the gas tax.
          Whether the truckers absorb some or pass it all through it’s better than this. Letting consumers of goods in other states of the hook for the portion of the trip through Missouri is leaving money on the table. They are in no hurry to reciprocate.
          Railroads ship important goods and receive very little gov’t subsidy and we somehow bare it. Should we pass a general sales tax to pay for the shipment of coal through the state by rail so that electricity is cheaper?
          The best thing we could do for poor people regarding transportation is by building places were they don’t have to drive as much or as far, if at all.

          • Bryan Kirchoff

            Sir,
            Thank you for your very thorough note, which makes some of the stronger arguments I’ve seen for using the gas tax:
            1) Duly corrected on Metro apparently being exempt on gas taxes, though one could turn that around and suggest it is a hidden “subsidy” to mass transit, so therefore, not everyone who uses the roads is actually paying for them; thus, raising the gas tax without removing the exemption would simply exaggerate the imbalance.
            2) The idea that other states use Missouri roads as a through-way for their goods is probably the most convincing argument. That said, I would want to know whether a lower gas tax in Missouri causes trucking companies to require refueling in Missouri, thus generating revenue that compensates for a lower rate? (Not to mention any other stuff the trucker buys while he/she is stopped.) If that is an advantage, how much could we raise the gas tax before losing it?
            Certainly walkable communities and ample mass transit would be great, but (a) the rural poor do not have either of those options, and (b) even in urban St. Louis, the amount of money and issue resolution necessary to make that happen with any sort of immediacy (i.e. ability to affect the current tax question) would make the sales tax increase look small by comparison.
            All that said, I think I’m swinging back toward the gas tax now. Well argued.
            Bryan

          • rgbose

            1. Well OK but it’s a pretty small thing and the buses mainly run on local streets supported by taxes other than the gas tax.
            2. Everybody caught on to that a while ago and came up with the International Fuel Tax Agreement

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fuel_Tax_Agreement

            3. True it’d take a while, but we could at least start by stopping undermining places that are already built this way. Many small rural towns are human scaled. I guess if you live way out of town and are poor, then you’d be really affected by a higher gas tax. Should propping up that choice be a priority for the state?

          • billstreeter

            Bryan Kirchoff wrote: “That said, I would want to know whether a lower gas tax in Missouri causes trucking companies to require refueling in Missouri, thus generating revenue that compensates for a lower rate? (Not to mention any other stuff the trucker buys while he/she is stopped.) If that is an advantage, how much could we raise the gas tax before losing it?”

            Answer: quite a lot, actually. Missouri ranks 44th on fuel taxes. Our neighboring states all have higher fuel taxes than Missouri does. Given this fact, it’s unlikely we would lose much fuel business if any at all.

            Also Metro buses being exempt from a fuel tax is not a subsidy at all. Metro is part of the transportation infrastructure. It replaces other vehicles on the road (imagine if all it’s passengers drove) which in turn reduces traffic and wear and tear on the roadways.

          • rgbose

            Everybody caught on to filling up in cheaper states a while ago, for big trucks at least, and came up with the International Fuel Tax Agreement.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fuel_Tax_Agreement

            Do any governments pay the gas tax? I don’t recall seeing school buses, police cars, fire trucks, military vehicles, etc filling up at service stations.

        • RyleyinSTL

          It would be one thing if we didn’t already have a petrol tax, a tax that was designed to fund roads. But we do have such a tax, so why the heck wouldn’t we use it?!

  • kjohnson04

    I’m against it for two major reasons: KC and STL get very little out of it, and mass transit projects are at very bottom of the list. I’m not against taxes, I just think it’s fair for people putting in to get something out. Paying $1 and getting only 0.64-0.69 cents of it back isn’t fair at all.

  • RyleyinSTL

    The roads are broken. No question. Our insistence with moving things around by diesel tractor-trailer could be one of North America’s top ten stupidest decisions. Taxing my morning coffee to pay for an extra lane to KC seems ludicrous, especially considering we have a roadway user tax via the petrol tax (both living and working in the city may slant my view a bit). Instead these geniuses want to amend the constitution?! Yes, of course they do, because that’s what the constitution is for…roadway funding specifics.

    NOT – What the hell is going on?

    Dear Jeff City – Raise the petrol tax and/or make I70 a toll road and remove your heads from your collective arses.

    • jmmyt3

      The “petrol” or gas tax as I (American) call it would be 20 cents a gallon of gas, or a mere 3/4 of a cent sales tax, which coincidentally does not affect food, medicine, rent, or most of your other daily necessities (which maybe a morning starbucks is). So maybe you do have to pay an extra penny on your coffee. But everyone relies on our infrastructure, including your beloved coffee (which probably traveled on I-70 to get to you).

      Lastly, did you read the article? The gas tax in Missouri is among the lowest in the nation… Bet you didn’t know a gas tax increase has not been accepted since 1992 in Missouri. MODOT does not have a backup plan, so either accept the crappy roads and the 60-year-old highway, or vote yes!

      • rgbose

        More like 13.5 cents * 4 billion gallons = $540M. What if the coffee came via rail?

        A lot of coal (and other important goods) comes via rail and the electricity produced with it is very important to individuals and our economy. Should we pass a general sales tax to keep the rail infrastructure from crumbling?

      • Adam

        I accept the crappy roads and the 60-year-old highway.

        No on 7.

  • matty_fred

    Wasn’t the City’s portion of funding based on the sales tax revenue that the City would generate, and not based on its population?

  • matty_fred

    The essay states: “(The central corridor streetcar, for instance) will require another local tax increase before MoDOT releases funding.”

    I don’t believe that is an accurate statement.

    MoDOT’s A7 list states that streetcar phase 1 “project delivery is contingent upon St. Louis Streetcar Company providing $275.1 million contribution from other sources, including federal funds and rider fees.”

    “Other sources” could include local tax dollars, but it would seem to me that the A7 $ here is intended to leverage federal funds, not raise local taxes. At any rate, there quite simply is no requirement that local taxes be increased for MoDOT to release these particular streetcar funds.

    • Alex Ihnen

      You’re technically correct. However, the practical implications of $25M in local tax revenue being allocated by MoDOT to the estimated $296.5M St. Louis Streetcar is that additional local tax support will be needed. Cincinnati may serve as a good example. There, federal funding from four different sources accounts for $45M of their $148M project, or 30%. If, and there are plenty of unknowns, St. Louis is as successful as Cincinnati in securing federal funding, there would be $90M in federal support. So far that’s $25M in local tax revenue and $90M in federal support for a total of $115M (39% of estimated project cost). User fees could account for 20-40% of annual operating costs, but won’t make much of a dent in project costs. Metro sees bus/train user fee revenue of ~21% of annual operating costs, for example.

      Basically, there’s a massive gap between the local funds from Amendment 7, possible federal support, user fees, and project cost. In Cincinnati, the city committed to $103M in additional funding from the sale of some city property, property tax funds, income tax funds, a TIF, and other sources. In St. Louis, the city would need to find, or reallocate $181.5M. The two cities offer a good comparison as they’re nearly equal in population, have similar economies, etc. Some cities have increased property taxes on transit adjacent property (this was done for the Loop Trolley), or set up special taxing districts to fund projects.

      There certainly isn’t a requirement in MoDOT’s list that local taxes increase to complete project funding, but a fair, and commonsense reading of the issue makes it clear that the City of St. Louis producing a new budget line item of $181.5M+ would require increasing taxes.

      • matty_fred

        Most likely, a Transportation Development District would be formed along the line (a district which, by the way, would include big “not-for-profits” SLU & BJC that would bear a big assessment). So, yeah … there’s your local tax … a tax that could be bourn mostly by large wealthy entities that often get out of paying taxes.

        It was previously written on this website that FTA’s “Small Starts” funds could cover as much as 50% of the cost. Moreover, “CMAQ” funding could cover even more

        Given the City of St. Louis’ newfound status as a SC2 City, I think that it will fare better in its garnering of Fed $ for this project than did Cindy.

        Also, I think it’s worth noting that this streetcar line is “phase 1″ and that it has a northern leg from Downtown to Old North. From this line is how to build the N/S transit line.

        http://nextstl.com/2013/02/city-streetcar/

        • Alex Ihnen

          Yes, a TDD would be raising local taxes. And the non-profits along the way would not see their property taxes increase, since they don’t pay them anyway. It would be up to whatever entity is building the line to negotiate payments in lieu of taxes for each.

          • John R

            IIRC, KC’s TDD is expected to generate sufficient revenue to allow for free use… I think that is a pretty smart move if they can manage operations w/o it. King Sinquefeld btw committed six figures to defeat the proposed expansion of KC Streetcar that will be voted on next week. I suppose he’d do the same here. In contrast, Detroit started work this week on its 3 mile long line down Woodward… no extra taxes as billionaire Dan Gilbert and friends are paying for it. We need better billionaires!

          • matty_fred

            BJC, SLU & Downtown Partnership each qualify as well-healed & not Rex.

            In a perfect world with unlimited funds, we’d be building LRT on that N/S “locally-preferred alternative” route like yesterday. We don’t live in a perfect world with unlimited funds.

            The sooner phase 1 of the streetcar is built, the sooner we can make phase 2 be a streetcar line that follows the N/S route. N/S LRT is dead, and has been for quite some time. It’s time that some City politicians let N/S LRT go and work on the real opportunities that have presented themselves.

          • John R

            Truthfully I’d rather Saint Louis Streetcar turn to building out a more extensive BRT network. I’m confused though by what you mean by Rex not qualifying as well-heeled. If he were so inclined, he could help fund Saint Louis Streetcar with a significant contribution rather than likely fighting it.

          • matty_fred

            Didn’t say Rex isn’t qualified as well-heeled.

  • Dan Smithson

    metro does not want to build a new line, metro does not want to build a new line, metro does not want to build a new line! ok repeat 5 more times and maybe you will understand. next- metro didnt ask for operations $ from A7, metro didnt ask for operations $ from A7, metro didnt ask for operations $ for A7…repeat 5 times and maybe you will understand….

    • Alex Ihnen

      Not only did Metro not ask for operations funding, they didn’t ask for anything from Amendment 7. The project list is a political tool, compiled and submitted by county executives on short notice. Metro wants to build the best transportation system it can afford to operate. What it can afford is a political question.

      • matty_fred

        It’s difficult to determine whether the transportation lists were compiled and submitted by the STL region’s county executives on “short notice.” There was plenty of discussion about potential projects during the East-West Gateway meetings, by which each county executive’s office was a part of the discussion.

        If, as the essay states, this proposed transportation tax was the product of “two years of machinations,” I think it reasonable to assume that political players were given sufficient notice that project lists would need to be submitted, and that the political players each had a project list in mind.

        • Dan

          Alex that’s not correct. Sales tax for transportation started in 2009, 5 years is not a short notice. All the projects have been planned for years, many years. All the projects are on various plans and have been for along time. Again metro does not want to build a new line. It doesn’t make financially sense since there is no available federal help via the new starts until about 2023-2024 and yes politically it’s also a mess

          • Dan

            Alex,
            Another reason why metro link expansion was never seriously considered. All of expansion projects where presented as full corridor projects, with $1-2b price tags. Metro knew those had no chance. If metro came to the table with segments of corridors like 2-3 miles they probably could have gotten $150-200m from A7. But again metros leadership is horrible and it doesn’t want to make a tough decision, which is to put forward a segment of the south expansions in south city. That’s the only line that makes sense and it would have ridership to justify the cost, somewhat

          • jhoff1257

            It should be noted that East-West Gateway, not Metro, plans, designs, funds, and builds light rail lines in the St. Louis area. Metro’s sole purpose is to operate those lines. Metro doesn’t make those decisions. The LRT lines that have been “proposed” were all decided upon by East-West Gateway.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Sorry, but the fact that these project, or at least the vast majority of them had been thought of by someone before does not mean the list was pulled together in short order. There’s been no consistent, orderly plan for transportation development in the city. The items on the list aren’t components of a holistic strategy.

            Among other issues, it wasn’t known until several weeks ago how much funding would be generated by the tax (it was reduced at the last second from 1% to 3/4%). Clearly this means that the list couldn’t be produced. Then, with the Aug 5 date, it was determined that counties would submit their own lists and there wouldn’t be time for a more regional approach. This also means that the list couldn’t be produced.

            So while ideas for projects have been around for a long time – some for decades – the Amendment 7 project lists were pulled together very quickly, guesstimates on project costs made up, and then simply aggregated. This was an expedited political process. Anyone following the issue understands the inherent challenges and spending billions of dollars this way.

  • DTCheffy

    Since groceries won’t be taxed, what exactly will be taxed if this passes?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Food, medicine, and fuel would not be included in the tax. Everything else you buy would be included.

      • Adam

        Does food include dining out?

        • Alex Ihnen

          More specifically, groceries will not see an added tax. Prepared foods, and food served at restaurants would be taxed – from my understanding.

        • rgbose

          Yes, eating out will have the tax. Look at your grocery receipt and you’ll see a HI and LO sales tax amount. LO is groceries, HI is everything else.

  • SeenInMaplewood

    2 things I would like to bring up and see if anyone else knows more than I do. First, Saint Louis already has mare highway miles per capita than any other city. If so. maybe we should be reverting some highways to arterial roads if they are getting to expensive to maintain. Second and finally, I have heard A7 includes a lot of pork barrel type projects to help groups we trust get behind it, such as a surveillance system for STL policy HQ. Anyone have more facts or opinions?

    • rgbose

      The Intelligence Center for the SLMPD HQ was on the project list for the city bond issue that wasn’t put on the ballot.