ST. LOUIS — Leaders of a downtown St. Louis taxing district that was set to expire at the end of the year said they have "successfully filed" petitions to renew the district, a development that comes after a protracted battle with some property owners who've opposed its continuance.
"Achieving this significant goal of submitting the amendment petitions to the City, particularly having done so during a global pandemic, shows the diversity of support and Downtown's faith in its Community Improvement District," the CID's leader, Kelli McCrary, said in a letter Thursday to downtown neighbors.
The CID, which historically has collected more than $3 million in extra property taxes, is set to expire Dec. 31. Efforts to renew it, which included gathering signatures from a certain number of property owners, began in 2019, though it also drew opposition from some prominent residents who opposed its continuance, citing "decline" in the neighborhood. But officials with the CID, which pays for secondary security and cleaning personnel, claimed it wasn't being given enough credit for successes downtown, and said it would make changes to how it did business. That includes hiring its own staff and narrowing its focus to safety, maintenance, beautification and public infrastructure, while dropping marketing and economic development efforts as a new organization, Greater St. Louis Inc., took shape.
Though the CID has submitted the required signature petitions, it still must receive approval from St. Louis' Board of Aldermen, which must pass an ordinance enabling renewal. A downtown alderman, Jack Coatar, has said he will sponsor such legislation.
Les Sterman, leader of the group that opposes the CID's renewal, said Thursday that the CID "continues to deny responsibility for addressing downtown's most serious problems, which is a recipe for continued decline."
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