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Francis Slay Destroys the Transportation Sales Tax Trying to Support It **UPDATE**
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Doesn’t it suck when Jay Nixon and Francis Slay get on opposite sides of an issue?

Where do we go?

They’re on opposite sides of Amendment 7, the largest tax increase in Missouri history. And you need to choose a side before August 5, because the ball’s in the voters’ court.

But there’s no need to fear; Hennessy is here. And I heard Francis the talking Mayor on KMOX this morning (or maybe it was yesterday) talking about how much he loves, Loves, LOVES the 3/4 cent sales tax increase theoretically for transportation.

Note the keywords: theoretically and transportation. Not roads, highways, bridges, and infrastructure. In fact, taxes raised by a $480 million per year sales tax increase could go to anything–anything at all. And that’s why Mayor Slay loves, Loves, LOVES Amendment 7.

And it’s also why St. Louis Tea Party’s eyes and ears in Jefferson City (and our favorite St. Louis Police Sergeant) Gary Wiegert has organized a Stop 7 Sign Wave, about which more in due course.

First, Hizzanuh on Amendment 7, straight from the Mayor’s blog:

Amendment 7 is a breakthrough for urban transportation policy in Missouri. For the first time ever, the state would support major funding not just for highways and bridges but also for special transportation needs and opportunities in cities like ours.

If Slay had stopped there, we still wouldn’t know how he’d squander spend those $480 million. But he wasn’t finished.

A ‘Yes’ vote would make state funding available for large-scale mass transit, pedestrian, cycling, greenways, access for the disabled, and “complete streets” projects in neighborhoods throughout the City of St. Louis.

Ah, greenways. More grass for the city to maintain at $10,312 per acre (as opposed to the county’s $2191 per acre) (H/T Rex Sinquefield and Jen Bird). NextSTL obtain the whole list of stuff the city plans to build with your sales tax dollars. As far as I can tell, none of the city’s plans will get you from Wildwood to Scottrade and back any faster or safer. But if you like biking through city parks on a Saturday, well, there a $100 million in it for you.

Nothing the city plans will make roads wider, safer, or stronger. No crumbling bridges will be replaced. But Slay’s union boss buddies will get a big payout, and so will left-leaning construction millionaires.

Amendment 7 is a scam.

Mike Lee and Tom Graves Already Solved This Problem

Luckily, there’s good news on transportation. We can upgrade the interstates, improve the bridges, widen the lanes. Hell, we might even get some Kramer lanes in Missouri–if only our Congressional delegation would get behind the Transportation Empowerment Act.

I’ve blogged about the TEA (like that acronym?) before, and I like it better now. Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Tom Graves originated this bill that would allow states to keep the federal gasoline tax generated in each state. That money would be allocated by the legislature and MODOT where we need it, with no federal strings attached. And Mayor Slay would have to fight dollars against the rest of the state.

And Ronald Reagan supports TEA!

Rally on Thursday

Now that we’re clear on the downs and downs of Amendment 7, here’s your chance to fight it.

Gary Wiegert has organized a Stop 7 Sign Wave. It’s Thursday, July 17 from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm on Olive Blvd. from Lindbergh west. Kenny Newhouse will have the signs at the intersection. DO NOT STAND IN MEDIAN. If you can get there. people do.

 
Update: A concerned taxpayer sent in this evidence of MoDOT using tax
dollars to beg for more tax dollars:

Thanks, Ed.

  • Having been a Firefighter/Medic in the City for the last 18 years I can say from long and painful experience that “If Francis is for it, It is probably in my best interest to be against it!” Looks like yet another power grab for funds that he has no right to so he and his cronies can benefit from their mismanagement.

    Kinda like the scam the State pulled off years ago when they legalized casino operations by telling the voters it was, after all, “to benefit the Children” when in fact the revenues generated were put into the General Revenue Fund and allowed the politicians to “shell-game” an equal amount out of the other side of the ledger to spend as they pleased and no net improvement to the Education system. At least, none that I can discern! Just like the current farce being played out on the border by Obama and the Feds, whenever a Democrat asks for something “for the Children”, I grab my wallet and hang on tight!

    Thanks for the info on the TEA proposal. Sounds like it would be less likely, albeit only slightly, that politicians like Slay would be able to misuse its funds.

    • Hey, did you happen to know my uncle Patrick Mahon? He retired in like 1980 but stayed active with the union until his death in 2000. Battalion Chief. Great man.

      Thanks for rushing into danger.

      • Not personally but the name is familiar and there may be other Mahon’s on the job. Cousins probably? And thanks for the compliment! I always tell people, “We appreciate the appreciation!”

    • Jason

      The amendment 7 funds would be managed by MoDOT, agency with 85% approval/trust rating, not slay or Dooley or the GOP guy in st.charles, elhmann or whatever his name is. And bill amendment 7 isn’t for highways, it’s for all Modes and each county and the city of stl selected their projects based on what their citizens wanted.

  • Jason

    What in the world did I just read?!? Did you even take 3 seconds to educate yourself about this? Why would the city list have projects in wildwood? Did you not see the st.louis county list? Or the st.charles list? Or the franklin and Jefferson counties list? You do know that the city isn’t getting $480million? The $480 is how much it will be raised yearly and spent statewide. Over the 10 year of this tax the st.louis region gets $1.488 billion of that st.louis county gets 840mllion, st.charles $262 million, City 235m and the rest to franklin and Jefferson counties and each of the 5 have a list of projects where all of those dollars will be spent and all 5 took input from it’s people as to what to spend the money on…I bet you are feeling pretty stupid right about now….

    • Clearly I didn’t get my point across to you.

      The pitch for the tax hole is to fix roads and bridges. But that’s not how politicians plan to spend the money. They plan to spend the money on new projects that will not repair and upgrade aging infrastructure.

      And, yes; I always feel stupid.

      • Jason

        Looks at the list for our region, it’s on the MoDOT website. Very few new highway projects. Biggest two in our area is fixing 270 and 70. Only new road that I see was selected by the GOP in st.charles

  • Notforsale

    I sent this out to 21 people and hopefully each of them will send it out to 21 different people. I don’t normally vote FOR any new tax, but unfortunately those that drive the highways everyday may be fooled into thinking this is a necessary tax – I mean MODOT says so . . . according to those flashing (tax payer paid for signs).

    Also, thanks for bringing the FEDERAL part of this to light. Many have already forgotten the 2009 TRILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS PROGRAM that was supposed to take care of the crumbling bridges and roods all over the country + put 400,000 people back to work. Good Article.

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