Treasurer Tishaura Jones is calling on St. Louis residents to vote against Proposition P on Nov. 7 – a half-cent sales tax increase that will fund public safety efforts.
On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Jones, who said sales taxes are regressive and disproportionally affect the poor.
“I am not anti-police. I do believe that our public safety department deserves a raise. I just don’t think that sales tax increases are the way to do it,” Jones said.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said while sales taxes are regressive, Prop P will be “worth it” to have competitively paid departments and recreational programs.
But Jones said having most of the money in the sales tax go towards raises for police and fire departments does not address the city’s issues.
She said the bulk of the money should go towards youth job programs, recreation centers, increased access to mental health and substance abuse programs to address the root causes of poverty and crime.
“We see all over the county, cities are making these huge investments in these programs and they’re seeing a marked decrease in violent crime,” Jones said.
She advocates for the city officials to look at alternative revenue sources to help fund public safety departments, like raising property or payroll taxes. She also said the police department should resize.
“We have more police per-capita than any city our size,” Jones said. “The numbers don’t add up.”
Jones calls on city officials to work together to help address crime and underfunded programs in St. Louis.
“Can we put our collective heads and budgets together to address some of the issues we have in this city?” Jones asked.
Listen below to host Don Marsh and Treasurer Tishaura Jones discuss her opposition to Proposition P:
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. Follow us @STLontheAir