Prop NS Tax Increase Would Help Stabilize Vacant Buildings

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis voters will decide tomorrow whether property taxes should be raised to help stabilize city-owned vacant buildings.

Kevin McKinney, executive director of the St. Louis Association of Community Organizers or SLACO, says the city’s levy right now is $8.30 per $100 assessed valuation.

“We’re talking about a one cent increase that makes that rate $8.31. So if you’ve got a house that appraises for $50,000 you’re going to end paying maybe six or seven bucks. If you have a house that appraises for $100,000, you’ll end up paying somewhere between $10 and $11,” he says.

Alderwoman Cara Spencer says the existing $1 million demolition budget has been used sparingly to stabilize buildings, but Prop NS would provide a much larger, dedicated revenue stream.

“We would be enabled to issue $6 million bonds at a time, and that would generate $6 million a year for us to apply specifically to the preservation of derelict buildings,” she says.

Prop NS, which has to pass with a two-thirds majority, would allow the city to issue bonds, paid back by money from the tax hike. The Land Reutilization Authority estimates it could address roughly 200 buildings a year with the money.

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