St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter's gambit to fix the city's crumbling infrastructure by getting voters to add an extra 1% to the sales tax paid off.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, the sales tax increase to pay for streets, bridges and park facilities won with slightly more than 60% of the vote.

The sales tax hike will put nearly $1 billion into the city's infrastructure over the next 20 years — rebuilding 44 miles of arterial streets and bridges and replacing aging parks facilities.

Colleen Hegranes was one of those voting yes Tuesday, as was Sabrina Lau.

"I think it's a good idea because it is sequestered to just the streets and the parks," said Hegranes, who voted at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in the Third Ward. "I would not be in favor of it if it was just another tax to go into the coffers."

Said Lau: "I know that our infrastructure is not keeping pace. I know we've delayed it and it feels like it will be hard to catch up, and it only gets worse."

That was the message Carter has been giving since introducing the sales tax increase proposal a year ago.

The St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and the Midway Area Chamber of Commerce opposed the sales tax hike, saying it could chase shoppers out of the capital city as they seek to buy goods and services for less.

At Battle Creek Recreation Center in the Seventh Ward, Rosalind Loggin said she voted against the proposed sales tax.

"We're already suffering. Rent is expensive," she said. "We have to work two and three jobs just to even survive. It's scary [and] I think it's getting worse."

Gerry McInerney called St. Paul's taxes "unrestrained," including the sales tax proposal, he said. He cited the Summit Avenue bike trail plan as a reason.

"You should listen to the people who actually live on the street," he said. "You don't need a raised bike lane. You already have a bike lane."

But most voters responded to the entreaties of St. Paul officials, who said the only way for the city to catch up on needed repairs was to charge everyone buying goods and services in St. Paul an extra 1% on those purchases.

Council Member Rebecca Noecker, who represents downtown, said it's the fairest way to spread the costs to non-residents who use the city's streets and bridges.

St. Paul residents already pay an additional 1% over the base state sales tax, with the city and Ramsey County each collecting a half-cent — money that has been used to fund the expansion and remodeling of RiverCentre and other projects.

Officials say the extra 1% will raise $738 million to rebuild and improve roads over 20 years and put another $246 million into the city's Parks and Recreation facilities, including a new Mississippi River Learning Center.

In the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, Carter used social media to push for the tax increase. He assembled a roster of allies. In a release sent out Friday, former legislator and newly-elected Ramsey County Commissioner Rena Moran called the plan "a fair and necessary way to fund these important projects."

Labor leaders, too, urged passage. Don Mullin, executive secretary of the St. Paul Building Trades Council, said the poor condition of many streets "negatively impacts the mobility, safety, and access to the businesses that do so much to grow our community."

Said Dean Gale, business manager of St. Paul Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 34: "An investment like this — directly funding street and park improvements — is a smart and necessary step towards maintaining and improving the systems that we rely on every day."

The City Council is expected to review the proposal at its Jan. 4 meeting.

Staff writer Greta Kaul contributed to this story.