What is it?
Proposition P is being voted on to impose a sales tax of one half of one percent; wherein the revenues will be used toward police officer and firefighter compensation, operation of the department of public safety, enhanced law enforcement services and the hiring of additional police officers. The sales tax is expected to generate $19.5M USD in revenue and $3.9M USD increase in the use tax.
Some supporters of the measure argue toward the usage of funds helping soften the impact of the Proposition P passing in St. Louis County. The claim is that the higher wages for officers in St. Louis County will lure talent out of the city. If the measure passes St. Louis City police officers would receive a raise of approximately $9,000-$10,000 USD each. The remaining funds would go toward providing fire fighters with $5.4M USD that can go toward salaries, $1.5M for the Circuit Attorney, $3.6 million for after school and summer job programs.
Proposition P is a temporary strategy for a larger and much more complex issue. Currently St. Louis has one of the largest sales tax rates within in the nation; and the regressive nature of the tax will effect citizens who are already under financial strain. There is no way the citizens of St. Louis should have to foot the bill for failed policies of former administrations. As we move forward the new administrations should be placing a heavier focus on hiring a permanent police chief that commands leadership; funding programs that find alternative ways to prevent crime, and independently auditing the city’s budget. We as elected officials hold a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of St. Louis to properly utilize tax monies realized. On face value I know $20M+ USD appears to be alot but when you look at the money that is already budgeted it puts it into perspective.
Currently I am only aware of one legally binding contract to how the funds would be spent. That is an agreement, with SLPOA, regarding the salary increase for officers.
There is nothing in place to earmark the remaining funds to the promoted purposes. I would require that same level of commitment for providing funding to the civil services and after school programming.
Proposition P could do more harm in the long term than effectiveness in the short term. It’s passage would further affirm the precedent of using tax increase to replace sound policy. When you look at major selling points of the City St. Louis many speak of the cost of living. Given the number of special taxing district spread through out this proposition will increase the cost of living; where we will see 24 districts with a sales tax rate of 11.679%.
In closing, I would like to request that you join me in voting no on Proposition P. Additionally, I would like you to join me in engaging community leaders in finding ways we can approach crime in the City of St. Louis. You can not solve crime by throwing more/high paid officers at the problem and call it a solution. More effective is installing a progressive police chief that is receptive to the community and commands leadership throughout the entire Police Department.
New Voter ID Law in Effect
Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 marks the city’s first city wide election with the new Voter ID law in effect. Please do not be turned away just because you don’t have a photo ID! If you’re having problems, call the number on the flyer below and send me an email at MissouriForMurray@outlook.com if you still have any issues.
Remember that a provisional ballot is the last option; if all else fails.
Polls are open from 6am – 7pm, Find you polling place here.