ST. LOUIS – A new proposal calls for a half-cent sales tax increase in the City of St. Louis in an effort to raise funds in support of early childhood education.

As the St. Louis Board of Aldermen opened the 2024-25 session last week, one of the first pieces of legislation filed was Board Bill 7.

According to its language, the bill calls for the city to “collect a sales tax of one-half of one percent on all retail sales made in the City of St. Louis for the purpose of providing funds to improve the quality, affordability, and access to early childhood education in the City of St. Louis for children aged 5 years and younger.”

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If the bill passes the Board of Aldermen, it would leave the final decision up to voters who reside in the City of St. Louis. That vote would come during the Nov. 5, 2024 general election.

Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard sponsors the bill, which is on the agenda for its first reading during Friday’s meeting.

The legislation would also enable the City of St. Louis Mental Health Board of Trustees to administer early childhood education funds and offer severability and emergency clauses.

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the City of St. Louis issues a total tax rate of 9.670% on retail sales, which includes a 5.454% local sales tax rate and a 4.225% state sales tax rate. The proposed half-cent increase, if approved, would push St. Louis’ total sales tax rate above 10%.

FOX 2 has reached out to Clark Hubbard’s Office and the St. Louis Mayor’s Office for comment, but we have yet to hear back at time of this story’s publication.