South county shouldering its fair share of tax burden

\

\”Call the Tune\” by Mike Anthony

We recently wrote about the amount of sales tax charged by St. Louis County and municipalities within the Call’s circulation area.

In that column, we noted that while south county residents rightly are concerned about the amount of property and personal property taxes they pay, often unnoticed is the amount of sales tax they are required to pay when making purchases.

With the approval of two sales-tax increases since last November, the amount of sales tax paid in some areas of the Call’s circulation is more than in some of the nation’s largest cities.

For example, the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles share the dubious distinction of having the highest sales-tax rate of large cities in the nation — 9.75 percent.

The Sun-Times listed the sales-tax rates for the 10 largest U.S. cities.

While none of the sales-tax rates in our circulation area are that high, some areas surpass third-ranked Phoenix, which has a sales-tax rate of 9.3 percent, according to the Sun-Times.

Including a recently approved half-cent Metro sales tax, sales taxes now range from 6.925 percent in unincorporated St. Louis County to 9.425 percent in various locations in Crestwood.

At some locations in unincorporated south county, residents pay an additional half-cent in sales tax in Community Improvement Districts, or CIDs, and Transportation Development Districts, or TDDs.

Including the half-cent Metro sales tax, residents pay 7.425 percent sales tax in most areas of Green Park and 8.175 percent in Sunset Hills.

Shoppers pay an additional 1 percent sales tax in Green Park’s Flori Drive CID and Green Park’s Lindbergh East Concord TDD.

Including the Metro sales tax, residents shopping in Crestwood pay sales tax ranging from 8.425 percent to 9.425 percent. Crestwood has three TDDs and two CIDs.

Compare those rates to the rest of the top 10 cities ranked by the Sun-Times: San Jose, Calif., 9.25 percent; New York City, 8.875 percent; San Diego, 8.7 percent; Houston, 8.25 percent; Dallas, 8.25 percent; San Antonio, 8.125 percent; and Philadelphia, 8 percent.

In light of the Sun-Times’ numbers, it’s apparent that south county residents are shouldering their fair share of the tax burden — and then some.

It’s also evident that some governmental entities are going to have to learn to do more with less.