Green Park business community pays ‘lion’s share of taxes’ for city

Arguably, the worst anti-business alderman in the history of the city of Green Park has resigned.

Are we really to believe that her recent appearance with Elliot Davis on “You Paid For It,” her flip-flop stance on Green Park Road improvements and her factless accusations on reduced services from the Mehlville Fire Protection District had nothing to do with her exit?

And now her Channel 2 news co-star Michael Broughton has taken up her stance for a city business license — more taxes. He cries foul when those he’d like to tax are allowed a simple committee vote on the issue by Mayor Tony Konopka and the Board of Aldermen. Mr. Broughton, the last time I checked a map, Green Park was located in the United States of America, home of democracy and “one man, one vote.” But before I wave the flag too much, let’s look at some obvious facts.

The business community pays a much higher “commercial” rate on real estate tax, personal property tax and utilities tax. They also collect and also pay a portion of Social Security tax, Medicare tax, federal withholding tax, state withholding tax and collect the city of Green Park’s capital-improvement tax! They also pay multiple license fees at many levels of government and they provide jobs, goods and services to the community.

The city derives its revenue from a share of property and utility taxes, including a “pool” share of countywide sales tax and its own capital-improvement tax.

The facts are clear. The lion’s share of taxes are paid for and collected by the business community. If the average resident pays for police protection and street repair with a share of his property tax, then the much higher “commercial” rates paid by businesses should warrant the same services. Since all of the businesses located on Lindbergh Boulevard and Tesson Ferry Road do not receive street repair and maintenance from Green Park — state-maintained roads — his argument that the city needs this tax to maintain other business streets just doesn’t hold water.

Less government and less taxes equal a booming economy and that’s “Free Enterprise 101.”

Ironically, it was Michael Broughton who asked the business community for a $25,000 donation for a July 4th fireworks display. Independence Day, wasn’t that about a war on taxation without representation? Mr. Broughton, your business license argument is like your fireworks idea — a dud.

James Smoot

south county

Editor’s note: Mr. Smoot serves as president of the Green Park Chamber of Commerce.