June 2018 Message from the Mayor

June 2018 Edition

Once again summer is upon us and we are looking forward to our concerts and activities in our parks and Chesterfield Amphitheater. I know our parks staff will have several top notch bookings for your enjoyment. I hope to see many of you out to relax and enjoy!

In case you hadn’t heard, bids were recently sought for the purchase of Chesterfield Mall, exclusive of Macy’s and Dillard’s. The Staenberg Group has purchased the Sears building and will lease back to Sears until next year. As of this writing, we think the date for receiving offers for the mall may be extended in order to solicit best and final offers. We anticipate there would be a short due diligence period followed by closing on the purchase. Ultimately, we anticipate a major redevelopment into a mixed use concept that may have residential, office, restaurants, and a lesser retail presence.

It has been three and a half years since we filed our constitutional challenge to the St. Louis County Pool Tax statute. Although we achieved a modest victory in modifying the distribution statute two years ago, we were more or less forced by our opponents to continue our legal challenge to this “special law.” After being denied summary judgement in a lower court, we are now appealing to the Missouri Supreme Court. We are encouraged by the legal theories argued in the brief being filed by our current counsel, which then requires us to consider what a judicial victory may look like.  For example, if the Missouri Statute 66.600 is ruled unconstitutional, the county-wide pool tax may be invalidated, but the municipalities that had an approved municipal sales tax prior to 1977 would again be authorized to collect this tax. Other municipalities, like Chesterfield would be authorized to put on a ballot for voter approval a municipal sales tax that would replace the previously existing unconstitutional pool tax. If this were to occur, we would likely experience a significant shortfall in revenues until such time we can obtain voter approval of this replacement tax. This is a critical judgement and decision for our city as this stream of revenue is our single largest source. We do have sufficient reserves to get us through this temporary period until a replacement tax is approved, and our reserves can be replenished fairly quickly. Although there would be some degree of fear and concern, we strongly believe that our community as well as municipalities throughout the county will be stronger and much better off in the long run. This tax that has existed since 1977 is so onerous, disproportionate, and fundamentally unfair that it is no wonder it may be deemed “unconstitutional.” It may seem premature to begin talking about requesting approval of a municipal tax that would replace the county-wide pool tax, but it takes time to educate the voters on this complicated and important issue. If legal, I would think it preferable to seek a contingent approval prior to a final court decision that would take effect or activate only if the existing tax were struck down. This would avoid or shorten a period of reduced revenues that are needed to pay for the municipal services provided. Thank you for your attention and interest in this vitally important matter!!!

I look forward to seeing you out and about!


Mayor Bob Nation