Next Week’s Election Issues
Voters in Saint Louis County and Jackson County have some tax and smoking proposals on the ballot Tuesday. Most of the Show-Me Institute staff will be at a conference next week, so I’m posting some thoughts on the issues now. For the Jackson County voters, you get to choose whether to renew a sales tax focused on fighting drugs / crime / bad stuff everywhere. I highly recommend this column on the COMBAT tax by Patrick Tuohey for the details about the proposal.
The proposed smoking ban is on the ballot in Saint Louis County. Also, given that the city appears poised to do whatever the county does on this issue, the vote will in some ways determine whether there will be a smoking ban in the city, too. I recommend this testimony by Show-Me Institute policy analyst Dave Roland about the smoking ban issue.
Finally, there is a Saint Louis County sales tax increase on the ballot that is supposed to fund improvements to the county’s emergency communications equipment. I wish the proposal had a sunset date, like the above-mentioned COMBAT tax in Kansas City, but I’ll probably still vote in favor of it. I’ll probably also vote in favor of the smoking ban, which will definitely put me in the minority here at the Show-Me Institute.
Finally, it is disturbing — but not surprising — to see all the tiny villages in St. Louis County trying to pass new business taxes through the ballot. The village of Uplands Park has 460 people, and the entire village is about the size of a golf tournament check. Who do they think will pay the 8-percent franchise tax on telephones? This would just dramatically raise the phone bill of every person in the city. I hope the voters realize that.