After it looked like the St. Louis soccer stadium proposal for an MLS franchise was dead, a last-ditch effort has revived the proposed legislation. On January 26, 2017, the MLS bill was voted down by the Aldermanic Ways and Means Committee 6-2. After the vote, the parties quickly negotiated to amend the bill and bout an hour later, the parties presented the amended bill. The new proposal was slightly different: The main change included an amount of $12.5-$17 million dollars in projected revenue be provided to the city’s general fund over a 30-year period. The amended bill passed with a 5-4 vote.
Additionally, the committee passed Board Bill 227. Board Bill 227 is a proposal that would increase the city’s sales tax to fund a MetroLink expansion and various other neighborhood safety developments. Importantly, the sales tax increase in Board Bill 227 would also trigger the increase in business tax that ultimately would fund the city’s stadium contribution for the MLS stadium. Without passage of Board Bill 227, the outcome of the stadium vote would not matter. Board Bill 227 passed the committee with a 5-1 vote.
The journey to the ballot has just begun for the proposed legislation. Both the stadium bill and Board Bill 227 still need approval from a full vote of the Board of Alderman. If they pass that vote, the city must request a circuit court judge to order the proposals be included in the April 4, 2017 ballot.