In Tuesday's election, six in 10 St. Paulites at the ballot box voted "yes" to increase the city's sales tax by 1% to pay for roads and infrastructure projects.

The sales tax measure didn't just win by a wide majority across St. Paul. It also won almost everywhere in the city, a Star Tribune analysis of election results shows.

Kathy Lantry, a longtime former East Side City Council member and a leader in the vote yes efforts, said the high margin didn't surprise her. She said support was widespread across the city from groups like ISAIAH and labor unions. More importantly, it's no secret St. Paul's roads have deteriorated.

"People are out driving around," she said. "It's not like this was a manufactured problem."

The 1% sales tax is expected to generate $738 million for streets and bridges and $246 million for parks and recreation facilities over 20 years. When it takes effect April 1, St. Paul will have the highest sales tax rate in the state, at 9.875%.

Sales tax advocates argued that infrastructure has deteriorated in tax base-challenged St. Paul, and the money is needed to fund repairs. They also argue the burden of a sales tax is shouldered not just by residents, but also by people visiting the city and buying goods and services.

Opponents said St. Paul's taxes are already high, and they argued the additional sales tax could hurt small businesses and urge people to make purchases outside of St. Paul. They say sales taxes are regressive, with an outsized effect on low-income people.

Altogether, 74 out of 86 St. Paul precincts voted in favor of the ballot measure, and 12 voted against. But those pockets of support and opposition were clustered across the city.

"Yes" carried all seven St. Paul wards, with the highest margins of support in the Fourth Ward, an area surrounding St. Anthony Park and Hamline Midway, winning by margins as high as 61 points in two precincts in that area.

That wasn't a huge surprise to Lantry. "Ward Four has always stood out as sort of the most progressive — certainly not the wealthiest ... but my sense is they have a real social cohesion," she said.

Vote "yes" for the tax also won by more than 15-point margins in the First Ward (Summit-University and Thomas-Dale/Frogtown), the Second Ward (Downtown/West Side) and crucially, across the high-turnout Third Ward, which covers Highland Park and parts of Mac-Groveland and accounted for a quarter of all votes on the ballot measure across the city.

While the "yes" vote carried every ward, its margins shrunk somewhat in the Fifth Ward (North End and parts of Como and Payne/Phalen), and it nearly didn't pass in the Sixth Ward (Payne/Phalen and the Greater East Side) and the Seventh Ward (Dayton's Bluff/Battle Creek).

"People on my side of town, the East Side, are a little bit more constrained sometimes with their finances," Lantry said.

St. Paul has voted on ballot measures in the last three municipal election cycles, and residents haven't voted any down. St. Paul voters approved the adoption of a rent control ordinance by a 53% to 47% margin in 2021 and approved city-organized trash collection with 63% in favor and 37% opposed in 2019.

"I think that's what happens when you have a progressive city," Lantry said. "It's about the collective rather than the individual, not a socialist sort of way, but just like, 'this will benefit all of us.' "

As of Wednesday morning, results show 48,037 St. Paul residents cast a vote on the sales tax question — 465 fewer than ranked a first-choice City Council candidate.