Better Together Has Zero Facts to Back Up Its Most Crucial Claims

To me, the reasons to oppose the Better Together plan if and when it arrives on the November 2020 statewide ballot have nothing to do with dollars. It's oppressive to have our local governance dismantled by state residents who don't live here. It's chilling to consider how much damage will be done to the influence of the black community. It's cruel to emasculate proud cities, large and small, that have in some cases flourished for centuries. Then there's the hubris in dismissing as unacceptable an earnings tax approved by 72 percent of city voters. Hidden agendas abound.

But let's also accept that the status quo is broken. The city is crime-ridden and financially in peril. The county is plagued with balkanization and, like the city, is stagnant and governmentally challenged.

And hey, $4.9 billion isn't chump change. That's definitely end-justifies-the-means money. It's certainly worth a look.

I spent an hour by phone last week with Dave Leipholtz, BT's director of community-based studies, and some members of his team. The BT staff was accessible and professional, with none of the dismissiveness that has characterized some of BT's public posture.

But here's what I found: They just don't have the goods. There are no facts whatsoever to support the notion that forming the proposed metro city will cut government costs at all, much less save billions and billions.

 

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BT Municipal CAFR (editable) Better Together | Public Finance | STLv3
Better Together Report Endnotes STLv3
BT Budget Analysis and Fiscal Analysis Better Together | City Budget | Fiscal Analysis | Municipal Finances | STLv3
Professor Jones Better Together Analysis Terry Jones | Better Together | STLv3
STL99 Expired Tags | MoLeg | Privatization | Port Authority | Opportunity Zones | School Board | STL99 | STLv3 | Surveillance | Tax Abatement
STLv3 STLv3
The Deathly Hollows [sic] Privatization | Port Authority | STLv3
STLv3 on the Archive STLv3
Better Together Report Better Together | STLv3
Data Library Browse - Better Together Saint Louis OpenData | aackathon | Better Together | STLv3
U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: St. Louis city, Missouri; St. Louis County, Missouri OpenData | OpenGovSTL | Census | STLv3
Saint Louis County Open Data OpenData | OpenGovSTLco | GIS | STLv3
Where We Stand – East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG) STLv3
Board of Freeholders - MO Constitution Board of Freeholders | Missouri Constitution | STLv3
Dismantling the Divide Report Dismantling the Divide | Segregation | STLv3
City Open Data City | OpenData | City Toolbox | GIS | OpenGov | STLv3
Studies & Resources - St. Louis Strong STL Strong | STLv3
Metro City Constitutional Amendment Better Together | MoLeg | STLv3