ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis City voters approved Proposition 1, a half cent sales tax to, among other things, start funding the city’s portion of an 8 mile north-south Metrolink line.

Voters approved it by a wide margin, but St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger says that doesn’t mean the north-south line will be the final decision. That’s up to the East West Gateway Council of Governments.

“The ultimate route will be selected through East West Gateway as it has always been done, and we have three routes that we’re studying in the county as well, and before I make any call about any particular route I really want to look at all of the various studies that are being done,” he says.

Stenger says a “great deal of focus” needs to be placed on safety. He says turnstiles are going to be “essential.”

That half-cent sales tax hike is not sitting well with some merchants. Amer Hawatmeh runs the restaurant Copia on Washington Avenue.

“The question is, is the half cent sales tax going to benefit the city? Well it’s going to go obviously to the Metrolink. Is the Metrolink going to bring more business into our community? I don’t think so,” he says.

Washington Avenue now has a tax rate of about fourteen-cents on the dollar. After the passage of Proposition One, most of the city has a sales tax rate around nine percent.

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