(CLAYTON) — The Proposition P campaign has collected $700,000 but it only comes from four contributors. It isn’t exactly what could be called a grassroots effort. The Eight Day Before Election Report was filed today with the Missouri Ethics Commission. (Link to report below.)

The largest contributor is the Centene Corp. which gave $250,000, Rex Singuefield gave $200,000, Civic Progress — a group that Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Pollack liked to call “Civic Regress” —  gave $150,000 and the Regional Business Council gave $100,000.

Centene sought $147 million of tax abatement for its big project in Clayton last year. The company that wanted big tax breaks for itself has no problem with supporting taxes on others.

The regressive sales tax hike would hurt low-income families and seniors the most but not the chairman of Centene, Michael Neidorff. Neidorff was the highest paid CEO in St. Louis last year with $20.8 million. Not everyone thought he was worth it. He was named one of the 100 most overpaid executives in the country by a shareholder’s advocacy group.

The 1/2-cent sales tax increase would take $80 million a year from St. Louis County taxpayers, supposedly for increased police protection.However, there would be little accountability as to how the funds would be spent and no safeguards that would prevent current funding from being diverted elsewhere.

— Tom Sullivan

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