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Survey: St. Louisans not satisfied with tax value

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By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

ST. Louis, MO – A survey commissioned by St. Louis regional planners finds a large percentage of area residents are dissatisfied with the value of services they fund with their taxes.

Only 33% of nearly 1,400 respondents said they were pleased with what they received in exchange for their dollar. That's below the national average of 47%. The survey by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments covered areas such as employment and transportation.

Council executive director Les Sterman says St. Louis is actually one of the lowest tax rate jurisdictions in the country.

"It's a conservative area; people don't like to pay taxes, and rising taxes tend to get a lot of headlines, and that may be it more than anything else."

Sterman says the council will study whether St. Louis County's fractured system of municipalities plays a role in public perceptions of government service.

"People believe that unemployment is too high and they don't really have opportunities to advance on their jobs and things like that," Sterman added. "Clearly we've got a lot of work to do improving our regional economy." Only 27% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the availability of good jobs in the St. Louis region.

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