Remarks by former Mehlville Board of Education member, Matthew J. Chellis at the MCTA town hall held at Cliff Cave Library on October 21, 2010.
Sixty years ago, the population of the City of St. Louis peaked at 850,000. Then they elected progressives and started raising taxes. People started moving out. They have lost 500,000 people. It's now 350,000 people. They have high property taxes. They have an earnings tax. They spend a lot on education, a lot more than we do here in Mehlville. What has it gotten them?
Ten years ago, Mehlville had an annual budget of $60 million a year and educated over 12,000 kids. Now, it’s $100 million a year to educate 11,000 kids. That’s right, $40 million dollars more to educate 10% fewer kids. Also, if you do the math, you will learn that they spend a lot more per child per year than they claim.
This ploy of raising taxes to the median, is a never-ending cycle. When one raises the tax rate, the rest think that they must also. It’s a one way escalator. It only goes up.
This tax is a big deal. It’s a big deal because it’s a big tax. It’s also a big deal because it’s a "forever tax". It’s not a 5 year tax, or even a 20 year tax. Supporters say if you don’t like it you can leave. It’s true: the only way to get out of it is to die or move out.
If you are inclined to support this tax let me warn you: it will forever change the character of your neighborhood, the neighborhood where I and many of you grew up. Once you go from a low or moderate tax area, to a high tax rate, you never go back.
Some of your neighbors just can't afford it. Where do you want them to go?
To those of you who are opposed to this, don’t take its failure for granted. The unions and the other tax increasers are spending big money on this effort. I just wish they would put that money into the classroom.
Please, vote on Nov. 2nd