By Michael Calhoun

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) — Should Chesterfield or Fenton, cities with big shopping areas, get to keep every cent of their sales taxes?

State legislators charged with studying the issue had a hearing with area leaders Wednesday about the current sales tax pool, and whether to keep it.

Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch argued that her city doesn’t have the wide open space to build a shopping center, like Chesterfield and Fenton, therefore the current tax pool benefits her city.

State Rep. Mike Leara, R-south St. Louis County didn’t quite agree saying, “That pretty much allows you to not develop your town and create the community that you wish off, some may say, other municipalities backs.”

Welch combated that by saying her town is home to organizations like, Great Circle, and Girls Town and Boys Town.

David Stokes of the Show Me Institute, argued that allowing St. Louis County cities to keep all their sales tax revenue, instead of putting it toward the pool, would just mean cities competing to out-big box each other.

He says cities should focus on higher-paying jobs, than on stealing stores from each other.

The ten legislators will write a report when they’re done with their study.


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