Residents raise their own taxes to improve safety

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Residents and business owners owning property along Gravois and Morganford in the Bevo neighborhood are imposing a tax on themselves to improve the area.

“They wanted to up the game here and bring in more commerce, more business,” said Carol Howard, 14 Ward Alderwoman. “The wanted to improve the physical appearance of the area, and improve safety.”

Howard introduced a bill at St. Louis City Hall on September 16 that would start a Community Improvement District, CID, for the Bevo neighborhood.

The CID would be run by a board, which would make decisions about how money would be spent to improve the area. A tax increase would pay for those improvements.

Commercial properties in the CID area would be taxed 13.5 cents on the square footage of their building. Homeowners in the CID area would also be taxed $100 per year on top of their property taxes.

The CID could spend money on things like landscaping, neighborhood festivals and other things to beautify the area. Howard says a big focus will be on making safety improvements.

“It could buy cameras, on individual businesses, more cameras,” said Howard. “It could also provide more security for businesses during peak hours.”

Other neighborhoods in St. Louis City have established a CID, like The Grove and Tower Grove South. Howard says the special taxing districts have been very successful in those areas.

There is a committee meeting at St. Louis City Hall on September 28 to further discuss the CID for the Bevo neighborhood.