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Leading members of St. Louis propose local tax hike to rebuild downtown St. Louis

February 8, 2000
By: Laetitia Thompson
State Capital Bureau

A leading member of the effort trying to create a new sales tax to revitalize downtown St. Louis expressed surprise at Republican opposition.

Laetitia Thompson has the story from the state capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Former U.S. Senator Jack Danforth says downtown St. Louis needs the sales tax to survive.

Danforth chairs the group that drafted the proposal and says voters affected by the bill would need to approve the tax hike.

Actuality:DANFORTH
RunTime: 17sec
OutCue: "REBUILD OUR DOWNTOWN."
Contents: DANFORDS SAYS HE WANTS TO GIVE ST. LOUIS THE CAHNCE TO VOTE WHETHER OR NOT TO REBUILD OUR DOWNTOWN

But Republican senators voiced opposition leading Republican Senator Franc Flotron to suggest packaging the sales tax with airport legislation.

In a cell phone interview while driving back to St. Louis...Danforth said he was surprised by the Republican opposition.

From Jefferson City, I'm Laetitia Thompson.


A Republican lawmaker voiced concern over a proposal creating a sales tax to help revitalize downtown St. Louis despite strong support from some of the city's most influential members.

Laetitia Thompson has the story from the state capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

St. Louis Mayor Clarence Harmon and former U.S. senators Tom Eagleton and Jack Danforth gave strong support to the bill aiming to improve downtown St. Louis.

But St. Louis County Republican Senator Dave Klarich says the bill assumes that pouring money into the downtown area will attract growth.

Actuality:KLARICH
RunTime: 9 SEC
OutCue: "NO CONCRETE PROPOSAL."
Contents: KLARICH SAYS THE PROPOSAL IS A FIELD OF DREAMS CLAIMING IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME.

Klarich says the bill contains too many unanswered problems such as the possibility of public money funding the remodeling of structures later sold into private ownership.

Klarich represents voters in St. Louis county who would shoulder two-thirds of the tax hike under the improvement bill.

From Jefferson City, I'm Laetitia Thompson.


Leading members of St. Louis supported a new sales tax created to rebuild downtown St. Louis.

Laetitia Thompson has the story from the state capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Former U.S. Senators Tom Eagleton and Jack Danforth joined St. Louis mayor Clarence Harmon in strong support for the improvement bill.

Eagleton testified that the sales tax represents downtown's last chance for rebirth.

Actuality:EAGLETON
RunTime:
OutCue: "OF ITS CORE."
Contents: EAGLETON SAYS IF DOWNTOWN GOES DOWN THE TUBES THE HUB WILL BE LOST AND THE REGION CANNOT FLOURISH WITH A CANCER IN ITS CORE.

St. Louis County residents would provide two-thirds of the tax revenue with the city of St. Louis picking up the remainder.

Supporters says the tax could generate approximately $61 million a year for spaces like sidewalks and parking.

From Jefferson City, I'm Laetitia Thompson.