Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, wants to do away with a tax that makes up more than one-third of Kansas City and St. Louis budgets.
Schaefer, chairman of the Senate appropriations committee and candidate for attorney general, filed legislation Tuesday that would repeal the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis. The idea came in response to both cities passing local minimum wage increases over the opposition of the legislature. Both minimum wage ordinances were ultimately rendered moot after the legislature passed a bill prohibiting any future local wage hikes.
The earnings tax, which has been in place in Kansas City since 1963, is the single major source for both St. Louis and Kansas City’s general funds. The funds supports police and fire services. If the bill passes, both cities would be forced to hike property or sales taxes to make up the financial loss.
Schaefer said he believes the earnings tax is unconstitutional and hurts “employment investment and growth in our state’s two largest cities.”