A new move to alter the way sales tax revenues in St. Louis County should be shared (or not) could be headed for debate in Jefferson City as state lawmakers reconvene in January.
Here's how it is done, according to the St. Louis County website:
A complex set of rules governs the distribution of the one percent local sales tax in St. Louis County. Some cities, designated point-of-sale or "A" cities, retain most of the sales tax revenues collected from businesses within their boundaries. These are cities that had had local sales taxes before the countywide levy was enacted. Other cities, designated pool or "B" cities, share revenues with others in the pool on a per capita basis. Unincorporated St. Louis County is part of the pool. Legislation passed in 1993 provides for some sharing of revenues by point-of-sale cities: a sliding scale is used to calculate amounts contributed to the pool by point-of-sale cities. Finally, areas annexed by point-of-sale cities after 1995 remain in the sales tax pool. As a result, some cities have both point-of-sale and pool portions and are thus designated "A/B" cities.
Creve Coeur is technically an "A/B" city, although it is primarily considered a "Point of Sale" city.
In the last few years, POS cities including Chesterfield and Fenton have explored pushing for reforms to the sharing system which would have to come from the state legislature.
This week, Creve Coeur City Council members reviewed a letter from Fenton Mayor Dennis Hancock, who is looking for financial support to fund a lobbyist to work on behalf of Point of Sale city interests. His letter warns of an attempt by billionaire financier Rex Sinquefeld to support a move that would allow the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County to pool sales tax revenue on a per-capita basis.
Hancock's letter asks Creve Coeur for roughly $6,000 as part of a $150,000 fund.
For some Creve Coeur perspective, City Administrator Mark Perkins told Council members that if no pool existed, it would mean $1.2 million in revenue for the city. If all of it were pooled, it would cost Creve Coeur an additional $1.1 million. The current system also takes roughly $200,000 from the Creve Coeur sales tax measure passed in 2010 out of the city.
Ward 2 Councilman A.J. Wang said he supported helping the lobbying effort. "We suffer all the traffic, all the inconvenience of that, might as well get to keep our money," he said.
Council made no motion to formally support the effort, as Ward 3 Councilman Bob Hoffman, Ward 4 Councilman Scott Saunders and City Attorney Carl Lumley pointed out that there are questions over how any legislation might look at this point and how successful it might be, in addition to knowing how exactly the lobbyist would take marching orders from various cities.
What do you think? Should the city of Creve Coeur actively lobby to change the current sales tax sharing model now in use? Tell us in the comment section.