Better Together says merger plan will save region $5 billion in first 10 years

St. Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri at twilight
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nonprofit behind an effort to merge the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County says the consolidation would save the region's taxpayers nearly $5 billion in the first 10 years, but some local leaders are questioning the numbers.

Better Together released its fiscal analysis Wednesday. It says the merger would save taxpayers $250 million per year by 2026 and more than $1 billion in the 10th year by streamlining government, taking advantage of economies of scale and eliminating duplication.

The consolidation plan revealed in January calls for changing the Missouri Constitution by creating a new class of local government.

Leaders of several of St. Louis County's 88 municipal governments oppose the plan. Municipal League of Metro St. Louis Executive Director Pat Kelly says the financial analysis fails to offer specific details about the savings.