Soccer Stadium Funds May Go To Housing and Public Safety

By on April 13, 2017

From St. Louis Public Radio:  The demise of a publicly funded soccer stadium could mean the St. Louis Police Department sees more taxpayer money.

When voters approved a half-cent sales tax Tuesday for things like light rail expansion and neighborhood development programs, it automatically raised the use tax that businesses pay on out-of-state purchases.

Because that roughly $4 million won’t go to a Major League Soccer stadium, the money could go toward things like knocking down derelict buildings, providing grants for low-cost housing and bolstering the St. Louis Police Department.

While emphasizing that she wouldn’t make the decision where to the spend the use tax funds by herself, Mayor-elect Lyda Krewson said Thursday she would like to see funding for public safety efforts, considering hiring more police officers was a major campaign plank.

“I won’t make this decision by myself. Of course, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen will have input on that,” Krewson said in a telephone interview with St. Louis Public Radio. (The Board of Estimate and Apportionment consists of the mayor, Board of Aldermen president and comptroller. The three officials end up making many of the city’s major financial decisions.)

Krewson said she hasn’t talked with police officials about how the use tax funds should be spent. Some proceeds from the half-cent sales tax can go toward upgrading equipment and technology, as well as building up the city’s Real Time Crime Center.

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