Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Proposals Address Tax Increases for Parks, Signs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Proposals Address Tax Increases for Parks, Signs

Article excerpt

The city of Clayton and the Clayton School Board both have put proposals on Tuesday's ballot that would finance a new recreation center.

Meanwhile, Kirkwood is asking voters to increase its park tax, and three adjacent cities along Interstate 270 want to impose fees on billboards.

Here's a rundown of the proposals: BILLBOARD FEES Three adjacent cities along Interstate 270 in west St. Louis County want voters to approve yearly fees for billboards in their municipalities. Creve Coeur proposes a yearly fee of $5,000 or 10 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater; Town and Country, $6,500 a year; and Des Peres, $500 or 10 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater. CLAYTON and CLAYTON SCHOOL DISTRICT The city wants voters to authorize a half-cent parks and storm-water sales tax to raise $11 million for the $16.5 million recreation center project. The Clayton School District is seeking approval of a $19.5 million bond issue that includes $5.5 million for the center. The remainder of the bond issue would be used to improve Clayton High School and other schools and link schools to a fiber-optic network. The district also has a proposal on the ballot for a $1.9 million bond issue to protect the high school against earthquakes. If the sales tax passes, the city's total sales tax would be 7.225 cents, tied for the highest in St. Louis County with Shrewsbury. If both bond issues pass, the school district estimates that the school property tax would have to increase 30 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation to retire the bonds. The district's tax rate was $3.43 last year. The owner of a house worth $330,000 would pay an additional $188.10 a year in taxes to the school district if both proposals pass. The concept for the recreation center calls for about 130,000-square-foot building at the rear of Clayton High School. The recreation center would replace the high school's natatorium and gym annex. The facility also may have a leisure pool, an additional gym with a jogging track, conference rooms, a child-care center and activity rooms for aerobics classes and weight machines. …

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