St. Louis Public Radio News
8:44 am
Tue November 24, 2009

Republican county executive candidate promises tax reform

St. Louis – The election for St. Louis County executive is nearly a year away, but Republican candidate Bill Corrigan is already promising to freeze property taxes if he's elected.

Corrigan wants a moratorium on raising property tax rates, and said assessments should not rise faster than inflation.

On Monday, Corrigan accused Democratic County Executive Charlie Dooley of lobbying for property tax increases when homeowners can least afford it.

"I absolutely fault Mr. Dooley," Corrigan said. "He has had his chance to change this unfair tax system and instead of changing it he has repeatedly defended it. He went to the county council and asked for a tax increase in 2008 when our county was facing recession since the Great Depression."

John Temporiti, a spokesman for Dooley's reelection campaign, said Dooley actually cut property taxes by 3.5 percent last year, and any tax increases are the result of voter approved measures.

"Distortion and incorrect criticism is unfortunately what a lot of right-wing Republicans have tried to do, so that they can confuse the population," Temporiti said.

Charlie Dooley took over as county executive in 2003, when Buzz Westfall died. After winning a special election for the remainder of Westfall's term, Dooley was elected to a full four-year term in 2006.