County residents would shoulder tax burden of a city-county merger


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
In his Oct. 26 letter, Tony Pousosa addressed the Better Together organization’s intention to consolidate the city and county governments into one government entity.
He warned county residents that the city would take over the county, citing Article VI, Sec. 30(a) item (1) of the Missouri Constitution, which provides for consolidation of the two entities under the government of the city of St. Louis. The article cited states: “The people of the city of St. Louis and the County of St. Louis shall have the power …” to consolidate, but five options for that consolidation are set forth, not just one.
The most onerous of the consolidation options is option (5), which provides that “the people” may “… formulate and adopt any other plan for the partial or complete government of all or any part of the city and county.”
The plan will be prepared by a board of freeholders that will be chosen by the mayor of the city and approved by the Board of Aldermen, and the county executive with the approval of the County Council. The plan will then be submitted to voters (the people) of the city and county.
Also, Section 30(b) of the cited article states: “The plan shall provide for the assessment and taxation of real estate …”
If voters approve the plan, and vast sections of the city are thereafter blighted, county residents would be shouldering most of the tax burden of the newly created political entity or entities.
Better Together?
Michael K. Broughton
Green Park
Editor’s note: Michael K. Broughton is a Green Park Ward 1 alderman.