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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the tag “st louis business journal”

St. Louis Decline in Convention Business

The St. Louis Business Journal published a story today indicating that convention business in St. Louis during 2018 is down 20% from 2017. This is bad news. Two factors seem to be in effect. First the Ferguson episode discouraged many organizations from choosing St. Louis as the site of a convention. Second, the professionals in the field claim the relatively small size of the convention center. Part of the problem is the shortage of hotel rooms.

I like some real experts am skeptical of the convention size issue. While the problem is technically true, other cities are also expanding. The overall national convention business is down. Unfortunately I don’t have any answers.

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Metrolink Failures Continue

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Metrolink has lost 39 million riders since 2004. Why do we want to expand it? Isn’t doing over again that which did not work the sign of insanity? Written by Paul Dribin

Airport Privatization

The St. Louis Business Journal has reported that the City of St. Louis was warned that their airport privatization advisors were incentivized to push to privatize the airport. The reason for this is they would only be paid if the privatization is successful. Seems logical to me. The airport privatization reminds me of a family that sells their household furniture to pay the monthly bills. Written by Paul Dribin

Olive U City Development

www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2018/06/28/commentary-taxpayer-largesse-unnecessary-wasteful.html

A good editorial that appeared in the St. Louis Business Journal opposing a TIF for this project. Show Me Institute was author of article.

Paul McKee

Those of you in the St. Louis area are well familiar with Mr. McKee, a long time developer who is attempting to transform the north side of St. Louis though massive development efforts. He owns hundreds of properties and has a bold vision for development. Many community based folks have been suspicious of him.

It turns out these suspicions seem warranted. The St. Louis Business Journal reported that McKee had inflated sales prices of his properties to increase his receipt of state tax credits. This is of course fraud.

I am actually disappointed. I knew Paul fairly well at one time and considered him a true visionary whose heart was in the right place. With me he was always generous with his time and was always very accessible. I like to think I am a good judge of character, but in this case I was fooled. Written by Paul Dribin

Excuses Regarding Our Failure With Amazon

The St. Louis Business Journal contained an article today asking various people about the application of the City of St. Louis to Amazon for it’s headquarters. The article was written in a manner as to indicate that a great application would have secured St. Louis a spot in the final 20.

Nothing could be further from the truth. An application is a document that allows Amazon to pick among a group of relatively equally qualified applicants. In our case, we don’t make that initial cutoff. Our crime rate is horrible, our workforce uneducated, the governmental system is dysfunctional, and racial problems are beyond belief. The best application possible would not have convinced Amazon to put its second headquarters here.

I am tired of St. Louis chasing after rainbows, be they NFL or soccer franchises, a China hub, trolleys, Metro Link or a convention center. If we created a strong community of racial harmony, good jobs, great schools, good governance, and low crime we would progress far better. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Economic Development Agencies

The embattled head of the Regional Chamber, Joe Regan receives more in the way of salary and perks than any of his comparable 25 colleagues. He receives $771,879 in total compensation. This information was conveyed by the St. Louis Business Journal. This despite the fact he had many unhappy employees and our local economy shrunk. I would like such a gig.

A bigger picture is that the St. Louis region has multiple economic development agencies and it is not clear what any of them accomplish. The St. Louis Regional Partnership has increased staffing and salaries significantly since it partnered with the city. This whole issue is the next scandal waiting to happen. Written by Paul Dribin

Historic Tax Credits for Residential Use

The St. Louis Business Journal had a poll today which appeared critical of State Historic Tax Credits being used on residential properties. These credits are part of the state program which is used primarily on apartments and commercial buildings.

If used properly, the credits can help rejuvenate historic neighborhoods and preserve housing. The criticism seems to be that sometimes people who use these credits don’t need them. A simple solution would be to means test the program so that only households who need the credits will use them. Written by Paul Dribin

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