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29 March 2010

Keaveny: “Proposition A” in St. Louis County Will Affect the City of St. Louis

Voters in St. Louis County will have the opportunity to vote for much-needed new funding for the region’s public transit agency on April 6. The one-half cent sales tax, on the ballot as Proposition A, will provide Metro with funds to restore recent reductions to bus and other modes of transportation and to expand transit services that are essential to the economic development of our region.

When new businesses consider locating to the St. Louis area, and when tourists and conventions consider visiting the area to spend their money, one of the very first things they ask about is the availability of public transit. Without comprehensive transit alternatives, the St. Louis area cannot be competitive with other regions seeking new jobs, economic development and tourism events.

Transit provides access to jobs, education, health care and independence for seniors and the disabled community. The commuters who ride transit in St. Louis earn $2.2 billion annually. That’s equivalent to 50,000 jobs at $40,000 per year.

If voters in St. Louis County approve the sales tax, it also will trigger a one-fourth cent sales tax in the City of St. Louis. Voters approved a similar sales tax in 1997. Metro can’t collect the funds in the City unless voters in the county also pass the sales tax.

Proposition A deserves your serious consideration. It will cost the average St. Louis County resident approximately $1 per week – dollars that will support expanded transit that already takes more than 45,000 cars off the roads every day. Those dollars will also help the St. Louis region attract and retain growing businesses. A healthy transit system is important for a healthy local economy.

Every vote in St. Louis County will affect the City, so I hope you encourage your friends and family to vote.

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