Measuring St. Louis Against Other U.S. Cities

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Not that this is news to anyone, but Columbus is a State capital city with the major flagship state university located there. Those are two advantages we will never have! Ohio St. naturally brings young minds to their city on a regular basis from all over the country and world. Washington University does that to an extent, not on the level of Ohio State. I know several people who went there for school and never came back, ended up raising a family there.

Take those two factors of the table and Columbus loses that advantage over cities like STL.
^ No doubt those things help Columbus compared to the Saint Louis and Clevelands of the world: I just think it interesting that Nashville, which is a state capital itself and while having no OSU equivalent does have Vanderbilt and a couple other decent-sized universities just outside downtown seems to get so much attention when it's a laggard compared to Columbus.
My opinion is Columbus is a bigger Wichita in Ohio the only difference is Columbus is the state capitol and the big university is there other than that i really don't get the appeal of Columbus the same with Indianapolis i mean come on what does St.Louis lack that these city have?
Nashville is a good city i have great respect for it and i always have a good time when I'm there.
To answer my own question I'm going to go with good positive exposure hype perception crime governed
86% of Wash U students come from outside St.Louis, and plenty never leave either.
True, but here's the big difference :

Ohio State university enrollment: 66,444
Washington University enrollment: 15,155
DogtownBnR wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:28 pm
True, but here's the big difference :

Ohio State university enrollment: 66,444
Washington University enrollment: 15,155
This just reinforces that Columbus is basically a big college town, dominated by the university. If St. Louis were influenced by a big state school to the degree Columbus is, I'd find that incredibly annoying. I also think it undermines aspirations of being a major league city, because college sports are so dominant (not that I give a crap about sports for the most part, but still). Columbus has an overwhelmingly bro-ish feel to it-- not at all my cup of tea. I'd take Wash U any day over Ohio State.
UMSL could be the Missouri equivalent of UCLA if the state actually got serious about funding higher education. For all of the nonsense that happens in other "conservative" states, many of them actually do fund their higher education programs much better than Missouri. Much of the growth in the Research Triangle in North Carolina is directly related to North Carolina taking higher education seriously after being a extremely backwards state for many years. Minnesota is a perfect example of a state that has seen significant growth, because it has a reputation of having well funded public institutions, not low taxes and lax regulations. There is no doubt in my mind that if Missouri funded it's education system to the level of a Minnesota, St. Louis and Kansas City would at least have Twin Cities growth rates right now. Hell, the Twin Cities may have never even passed St. Louis up in population 20 years ago if the state had actually been focused on education and infrastructure, instead of gun rights and abortion.
goat314 wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:24 pm
UMSL could be the Missouri equivalent of UCLA
Good comment! I have thought this for years, yet not your point of prioritizing other stuff—gun rights/abortion—over education. It seems Missouri (state government) puts emphasis on rural interest over urban/global interests too often (a frequent b**** of mine). UMSL should be waaaay more respected than it is. And yes, should be a peer to UCLA in terms of how Missouri/UM system views their affiliate campuses vs other states. Good post!
stlgasm wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:45 pm
This just reinforces that Columbus is basically a big college town, dominated by the university. If St. Louis were influenced by a big state school to the degree Columbus is, I'd find that incredibly annoying. I also think it undermines aspirations of being a major league city, because college sports are so dominant (not that I give a crap about sports for the most part, but still). Columbus has an overwhelmingly bro-ish feel to it-- not at all my cup of tea. I'd take Wash U any day over Ohio State.
I agree with you about their over-the-top OSU cult(ure) but Columbus is much more than OSU and state capital... it really is a solid, fast-growing mid-size city with a diverse economy (major finance, insurance, retail hq's, growing tech, etc.) and imo is significantly more urban in overall nature than Indianapolis and, by what I can tell, Nashville, which somehow get all the accolades. Columbus I guess is a bit of an under-the-radar success story, which seems to be okay with them. (Full disclosure... I'm a Michigan Man at heart and prefer Cleveland over Columbus, but have close relatives in Columbus.)

As for WashU, no question it's a tremendous asset but it only takes us so far... we need more university students to propel us to another level. As goat says, investing heavily in a state college like UMSL would be huge.
As of April 1st, the base sales tax rate in the City of St. Louis has now hit 9.679% (it's even higher in special taxing districts). This is really getting excessive, and there are already proposals to raise it even more.

I'm wondering what the rate is in neighboring cities in St. Louis County. At what point will people start to notice the difference and avoid shopping in the City?
framer wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:42 pm
As of April 1st, the base sales tax rate in the City of St. Louis has now hit 9.679% (it's even higher in special taxing districts). This is really getting excessive, and there are already proposals to raise it even more.

I'm wondering what the rate is in neighboring cities in St. Louis County. At what point will people start to notice the difference and avoid shopping in the City?
Some already do. I only do bulk shopping in the county.
The combined sales tax rate for Saint Louis, MO is 9.679%.

The combined sales tax rate for St Louis County, MO is 7.613%.
The combined sales tax rate for Saint Charles, MO is 7.95%
The combined sales tax rate for Metropolitan East St Louis, IL is 8.85%.

Cities comparisons:

Chicago: 10.25%
Kansas CIty: 8.6%
Nashville: 9.25%
Indy: 7.0%
Memphis: 9.25
New Orleans: 10%
Minneapolis 7.0%
Denver: 7.65%

All of these cities counties are lower.
Cities charge higher for tourism and infrastructure and rightfully so.
I highly doubt, anyone or most people anyway, think to themselves that they will not shop here or there simply because of slightly higher sales tax rates. People shop where they live for the most part. People also, as box retail is dying everywhere, shop online more. Buying a car is WAY cheaper in rural areas than in the metro area and WAY cheaper on the Missouri side of the river than Illinois - but dealerships in the metro east are doing just fine and most Missouri metro residents don't / aren't driving to small towns to buy a vehicle either. People aren't going to (most of) St. Louis' main attractions and sports venues because of the tax rates, nor are they not going to buy something in those venues or around those venues when they are there because the sales tax is slightly higher.
^ interesting. I think I read if Nashville passes the transit tax next month it will have the highest sales tax rate in the nation... I guess that jives with tying Chicago if it's a 1c tax.

Edit... yup, here it is.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2 ... 778261001/

Anyway, it's expensive to run a city, let along one with strong amenities. The question is are wise decisions made on what's funded and how much of the region is contributing.
It's also worth noting that there may not be terribly many places in the county where you would pay the base rate. Just googling about here's a few examples:

Clayton: 8.113
Webster: 9.113
U City: 9.113
Brentwood: 9.113
Kirkwood: 9.113
Normandy: 8.863
Florisant: 8.863
Bellfontaine Neighbors: 8.113
Des Peres (wait for it) . . . 10.113

So sure, St. Louis is higher than most, but not necessarily by a heap. On a hundred dollar purchase you might pay anywhere from fifty cents to a couple of bucks more by shopping in the city. On a hundred bucks. Not what I would call crippling. And yes, you can drive out into open county, or a few municipalities that might as well be where they just charge the base. But . . . who really wants to go all the way to Afton or Spanish Lakle to do their shopping? You'll spend as much on gas alone. More. It's 3.2 miles from my house to the Schnucks in Afton (7.613). I spend a cool hundred on groceries and save a full two dollars and seven cents. I drove 6.4 miles round trip. The Prius gets about forty to the gallon on short hops with the engine cold, so that's about fifty cents in gas at three bucks a gallon. The Schnucks on Loughborough is a flat mile from my house, so two round trip for about fifteen cents in gas. Mm. Let's say I've saved a buck seventy two, more or less, after about thirty five cents in extra gas costs. And that's got to be just about a best case scenario. (I can't imagine there are too many places in the city as close to such low tax parts of the county, and most cars will do worse than that. My Miata, for instance, won't do as well.) And that says nothing of the time. Takes about five minutes to drive to the closer Schnucks. It'll take close to twenty to get out to Afton, I'd guess. So that's an extra half hour on Gravois. To save less than two bucks. I can't really imagine the tax will make that much difference. West County Center doesn't seem to be hurting and they look to have absurd sales taxes.
For the record: I think sales taxes are an absolutely terrible way to pay for services, since they fall disproportionately on those who have to pay the highest percentage of their income for goods and services, thus hurting most those who can afford it the least. But for me? Meh. I'm happy to pay for my city. I actually try to make a point of shopping in town. Doesn't mean I don't ever buy anything in the county. I'll join a friend for lunch or buy a cup of coffee there if I'm already there anyway. But in general I spend where I live.
The Downtown Indy group reports 28,000 people now live "downtown" and another 3,000 units are in the pipeline. Sounds rather impressive but the area used for those numbers is just shy of 5 square miles.... if you take our 2 square miles of downtown/downtown west and tack on another 3 sq. miles of roughly comparable area it turns out they really don't have more people. (Adding a bit more geography to the north, south and west of Downtown/Downtown West).

I think a higher percentage of that population is in its core DT area versus ours, but it's still pretty interesting how they haven't yet mustered high-density population over a 5 sq. mile area even in its hot spot.
Well, it looks like Nashville won't be joining Saint Louis as a metro with light rail... the ambitious transit plan got soundly rejected last night.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinio ... 568945002/

My guess is they'll try to go back with a slimmed down plan that will keep the focus on bus service and maybe some BRT but shed the light-rail. I suppose this also hurts any chances, which I think were pretty slim to begin with, of landing Amazon.