This Tuesday, April 5, is a municipal election day – a chance for voters to shape the policies that affect our everyday lives as real estate practitioners, homeowners, investors or renters. Several ballot initiatives affect property owners, so click through the links below to learn about each issue and to make an informed decision!
All voters …
Two ballot initiatives in relation to the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) are up to all voters in the St. Louis area:
Proposition Y is a wastewater bond authorization, which will determine how MSD pays for federally mandated wastewater treatment and infrastructure capital improvements. Passing the bond financing will result in lower monthly fees over a four-year period while not passing Proposition Y would result in higher monthly MSD bills to homeowners and commercial property owners by year 2020. The capital improvements will happen regardless of the passage of Proposition Y.
Proposition S is a proposal to equalize MSD storm water revenue collection throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area so all homeowners can receive similar services for fixing erosion and storm water infrastructure. The current collected fees would go up in some service areas and be lowered in others.
Learn more about MSD Proposition Y and Proposition S
St. Louis City voters …
The one percent earnings tax is up for renewal in the City of St. Louis. Currently the earnings tax accounts for 33 percent of the city’s general revenue. The one percent earnings tax is applicable to income earned off real estate transactions in the City of St. Louis. There is no proposal for how the City of St. Louis would replace revenues if the earnings tax was eliminated, but higher property taxes in the city are a possible funding source.
Learn more about Proposition E
St. Louis Public School District is seeking a 75-cent tax increase from their current tax levy of $3.75 per $100 assessed valuation to $4.50 per $100 assessed valuation. The 75-cent tax increase would mean an additional $142.50 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. St. Louis Public Schools plans to use the funds for childhood education, alternative education options, equipment upgrades and toward salaries for teachers and staff.
For comparison, when the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® supported the passage of Prop R in the Mehlville School District, their property tax rose to $4.23 per $100 assessed valuation, which was an additional $93.10 per year on a $100,000 home. It was at $3.74 per $100 before the .49 cent tax increase. So comparatively St. Louis City Schools are asking for 26 cents more than Mehlville did last fall. This still puts St. Louis City on the lower end compared to other school districts in St. Louis County.
Learn more about Proposition 1
Florissant voters …
Proposition R makes changes to the Florissant Rental Licensing Code, changing the annual fee from $15 per license to $50 PER UNIT on each license. The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® believes this will negatively affect the real estate market in Florissant and is actively campaigning on behalf of our membership against Proposition R.
Proposition A expands Florissant’s Vacant Property Registration Code to assess a $200 annual fee to a property owner of any residential structure that has been vacant six months or more, regardless of whether or not the property is well maintained. The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® believes the liens that the City of Florissant can impose based on this change could impact buyers and sellers of vacant property at the closing table.
If you are a Florissant resident, the association encourages you to VOTE NO for Prop R and Prop A!
Learn more about Proposition R and Proposition A