Aldermen Advance Ballpark Village Tax Breaks — Also OK Plan to Cut Board Size
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–A plan to give tax breaks to the Cardinals for Ballpark Village moved a step closer to final passage in the board of alderman , despite some heated debate.
Standing up to the majority, Alderman Scott Ogilvie argued that tax breaks for developers are good — if a property is in a distressed area — not in the heart of downtown next to Busch stadium.
“We’ve gotten into this regional death spiral where we subsidize everything,” Ogilvie said, “Now we have a subsidy for millionaires, multi-millionaires, that’s going to create $12 an hour jobs.”
By an overwhelming majority, the board perfected the language of the Ballpark Village tax break bill, and it’s expected to gain final passage next Friday.
Also today, the board gave final approval to Alderwoman Phyllis Young’s proposal to let voters decide whether the board of aldermen should be reduced in size from 28 members to 14 members.
Young’s plan passed by a vote of 21-7. Among those voting no was north side Alderman Terry Kennedy. He expressed concerns that a smaller board will weaken the checks-and-balances of the legislative branch against the mayor’s office. Also, Kennedy says a smaller board would weaken black political representation and make it harder for people of modest means to run for aldermen.
Mayor Slay is expected to sign the measure, putting it before city voters in November. It would require a 60-percent approval in order to change the city charter.