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Rex Sinquefield's Placement on St. Louis Art Museum Board Violates Law

Categories: News, Politics
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Sinquefield: Francis Slay has his back on museum placement.
The Post-Dispatch this morning follows up on a story Daily RFT broke months ago.

That's the fact that Rex Sinquefield, the financier who spent $11 million to get a recall of St. Louis' earnings tax on next month's ballot, is not registered to vote in the city because he maintains his permanent residence in out-state Missouri.

Yes, even though Sinquefield owns a $1.7 million mansion in the Central West End, his address for voting purposes is in Osage County where he owns a 580-acre compound. According to the Post-Dispatch, that includes a 20,000-square-foot modernist mansion.

As Daily RFT uncovered last year, Osage County is also where Sinquefield registers his Bentley and fleet of other vehicles. (Osage County, btw, has a much lower personal property tax rate than St. Louis, saving Sinquefield thousands of dollars each year.)

What the Post-Dispatch brings to the table this morning in terms of new "news" is that Sinquefield's appointment last year to the Saint Louis Art Museum's Board of Commissioners appears to violate state law.

That's because the museum, which is funded through a property tax of St. Louis and St. Louis County, is required to staff its board with local residents.

Mayor Francis Slay (who received $75,000 in donations from Sinquefield in 2009) overlooked this factoid when appointing Sinquefield to the museum's board. And, frankly, even now that it's been pointedly pointed out, the mayor doesn't care.

"We believe that Rex does meet the statutory requirements," Slay's media flack, Kara Bowlin, tells the Post-Dispatch. "He lives in the city."

Here's the deal, though: Every other member of the museum's ten-person board of commissioners is registered to vote in the city or county, according to the daily paper. And, for taxing purposes, the city's revenue department doesn't consider people registered to vote outside St. Louis as city residents.

So, the question remains: What the hell is Sinquefield doing on the museum's board?

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7 comments
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jjjj
jjjj

I find this confusing. Shouldn't you cite a statue or at least a legal definition of residency? Otherwise this seems like an unsubstantiated hit piece.

Kevinairis
Kevinairis

184.354 read it. he has no right to be on the museum board

Opera Buff
Opera Buff

Rex wants to meddle in the City's business, and enjoy the privileges of residency, but doesn't want to be a City resident. Let him take all his money and opinions, and go launch a petition drive to affect government and policies in Osage County, and leave us the hell alone.

STLNEWSMOD
STLNEWSMOD

I'll say this in Rex's defense. He probably pays more personal property taxes on his CWE mansion than 95 percent of St. Louisans. And, as I noted above, the art museum is funded by property taxes on St. Louis city and county properties. Still, the rules are the rules. If he's not a resident, you wonder why Slay is skirting the law by letting him on the board.

Chuck
Chuck

Obviously it doesn't matter who 'the city's revenue department' considers city residents, unless Sinquefield is trying to sit on a city revenue department board. Rex does live here, regardless of where he registers his vehicles or where he's registered to vote. Playing the angle of "the museum is funded by taxes, so they have to use the taxman's definition of a city resident" just doesn't fly.

Anonymous
Anonymous

If he lives here, he should pay taxes here like everyone else.

Your Momma
Your Momma

Laws don't apply to this class. Don'tcha know...

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