Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Proposition E Passes

So the one ballot initiative that I cared about yesterday did pass and I made the mistake of going to the Post Dispatch's website to look at the comments.

I do this from time to time because I want to see reasons why certain people vote one way or another, and by the time I was done reading the comments I wanted to throw a brick through a window.

First: What is Prop E?
Prop E is the 5 year extension of a 1% tax on any residents and commuters that work within the city of St. Louis or Kansas City. This money is used for police, firefighters, parks departments, and road crews.

Its a very important tax for anyone that uses either downtown.

But the comments were astounding.

Most the complaints were people that lived in Clayton, St. Charles, Ofallon saying that they shouldn't have to pay for those utilities for the city, when they already pay for them in their area.

Why should I, who lives in Clayton, have to pay a city tax because my job happens to be downtown?

OK, that's a fair point. But let's look at it this way.

Who makes up most of the crowd at Cardinal, Rams, and Blues games? Suburbanites and out of towners.

Who makes up most of the crowds at the Zoo, History Museum, Art Museum, City Museum, Fox Theater, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra? Suburbanites and out of towners.

What is the first thing you do with people coming in from out of town? Bring them downtown, show them the arch, Forest Park, and maybe take them to a ball game.

Maybe you go out of your way to eat at Crown Candy, Schlafly, or visit the brewery. All of those places are within the city limits.

St. Louis and Kansas City are relatively cheap compared to other cities. If Proposition E was shot down, there would be other ways to raise the money. Sales tax would increase, toll booths could be set up, sin taxes could be initiated... this is what other cities have done to make this money.

At least with Proposition E, the people paying the tax are the ones that use the downtown areas most often, those that live there and those that work there.