Next Tuesday in the April 5 elections, residents of St. Louis City and Kansas City will vote on whether or not to reauthorize their respective cities’ earnings taxes. Some legislators, however, say they will continue to push for earnings tax reform regardless of the outcome of the elections.
The measure has been opposed by St. Louis billionaire investor Rex Sinquefield as a burden on residents, workers and business within the city, but the vast majority of people in both cities elected to continue the tax in 2010. That year marked the first time the earnings tax was put to a vote before the general populace, and 78 percent of those in Kansas City and 88 percent of people in St. Louis decided to keep the tax.
However, the measure this year has been matched with pieces of legislation in both chambers of the General Assembly that would do away with the earnings tax entirely. Leaders from each city, including Kansas City Mayor Sly James and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, have opposed the measures strongly, saying that the resulting 33 percent decrease in revenue from getting rid of the earnings tax would mean across the board cuts to fire protection, police budgets and nearly every other sector of city government.
Lawmakers opposing the earnings tax say they expect the vote to be closer than it was in 2010, noting the organized efforts to do away with the tax that wasn’t there five years ago.
Read more: The Missouri Times