Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Chesterfield is a fiscally conservative city. Its finance department receives annual awards for excellence in budgetary and financial management. Debates on whether to replace a snowplow or repair a truck are so intense that one might think City Council members are paying for it themselves!

When our council voted to put a use tax (Proposition U) on the April ballot, I thought it important to pay attention and ask questions.

This is what I’ve learned: 1. Chesterfield has no property tax. Our city is primarily funded by sales taxes. We are in a “pool” with other cities, so we only get back a portion of the sales tax that is generated in Chesterfield.

2. Online sales, estimated at 16% of current retail sales, are expected to increase.

3. Proposition U is a 1% tax only on out-of-state vendors. If I buy something from an out-of-state vendor online for $100, I will pay an additional tax of $1. That $1 will go entirely to Chesterfield; it is not “pooled” with other cities. Our small local retailers, who add so much character to Chesterfield, will be able to compete fairly.

Chesterfield is an affluent city, receiving top services from outstanding staff. The Chesterfield Police Department earns international awards for excellence. The Public Works Department achieves overnight miracles clearing snow from our streets. Our beautiful parks and recreational opportunities combine to make this a wonderful place to live.

If a 1% tax only on out-of-state vendors keeps our city special, it’s a bargain.

Proposition U? I’ll vote Yes.

Wendy Geckeler