ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis police are getting a $6,000 raise later this year after voters Tuesday approved a half-cent sales tax hike by a 60 percent majority. Jeff Roorda with the St. Louis Police Officers Association says passage of Prop P is a morale booster.
“The guys are gleeful… I can’t over emphasize what a bad position we would have been in without this additional funding. I can’t thank the voters of St. Louis enough,” he says.
Roorda says the coming raise should stop the high turnover, and help keep experienced officers on the force longer.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed was worried about what would happen if the city’s Proposition P didn’t pass.
St. Louis is looking for a new police chief, and Reed wonders if that person would want to come into a situation where many of his officers are looking to leave because of low pay.
“As we go to recruit a new chief that’s going to impact it, because I don’t know if a good high quality chief would want to come to the city,” he says.
Proposition P allowed for a city wide half cent sales tax hike to raise money for first responder pay increases, as well as more money for the circuit attorney’s office.
Treasurer Tishaura Jones says she’s disappointed with the passage of Proposition P.
“I want to make clear that it’s not because I’m anti-police, I’m not. I definitely believe that our public servants and public safety people deserve a raise, I just don’t think sales tax is the correct methodology to do that,” she says.
Jones says sales taxes are a variable proposition, saying what happens when sales tax dip? She also says all revenue sources should be looked at in the cities budget, and Mayor Krewson should conduct an audit. The mayor says she does support an effort to conduct a citywide audit.