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   The cost of everything is about to go up in Edwardsville, but only by a little.  

   The Edwardsville City Council Thursday night approved a 0.25 percent home-rule sales tax increase on a 5-2 vote.  The currently 6.85 percent sales tax will go up to 7.1 percent, adding 25 cents to every $100 spent in the metro-east city.  

   The additional revenue will be used to build a new police and fire station with the goal of cutting emergency response times.  

   Proponents of the sales tax say it would be unfair to put the whole burden of paying for the new station on property owners. 

Published in Local News
   There won't be any relief for overcrowding at two metro-east jails after voters in two counties reject proposed tax increases to fund jail expansion.  A 0.25 percent sales tax increase to fund a $37 million expansion of the St. Clair County Jail was rejected by more than two-thirds of voters yesterday.  By a 2-1 margin, Madison County voters rejected a bond-finance plan to pay for nearly $19 million in renovations to bring their jail up to code.
   Meanwhile, Fairview Heights residents overwhelmingly approved an 85 cent property tax increase in order to save the two elementary schools in the Grant School District.  School officials had warned they would have to dissolve the district without the increase, sending about 680 students to neighboring districts.
 
Published in Local News

   Property taxes will remain the same for homeowners in the Ferguson-Florissant School District after voters rejected the district's first tax hike request in 21 years.  

   Only 42 percent of voters in Tuesday's election approved the measure that would have raised taxes by 75 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation.  The tax hike would have raised about $6 million for district schools. 

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the district is facing a projected $4.6 million shortfall for the coming school year, despite cutting before- and after-school programs and freezing teacher pay.

Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security as an attempt to compromise with Republicans on the budget.

   A senior administration official says the budget Obama will offer to Congress next Wednesday would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years. It includes a revised inflation adjustment called "chained CPI" that would curb cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs.

   The senior administration official stressed it is not the president's preferred approach but a compromise proposal to try to reach a long-term budget deal. Obama first made the offer to House Speaker John Boehner last year.

   The official spoke on a condition of anonymity since the budget has yet to be released. Technically, the administration actually would be limiting the growth of Social Security.

 
Published in National News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has advanced a proposed one cent sales tax to fund state and local transportation projects.

The tax would need approval by Missouri voters and would automatically go to another statewide vote after 10 years. It's expected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade, with 10 percent dedicated to local transportation needs.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday.

The legislation requires the Highways and Transportation Commission to develop a list of projects before the tax goes on the ballot. The commission would prepare an annual status report for the governor and the Legislature.

When the increased sales tax is in effect, Missouri's gas tax would be frozen and existing roads could not be become toll roads.
Published in Local News

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