Business community weighs in on St. Louis earnings tax

As voters are swamped with campaign materials supporting and opposing renewal of St. Louis’ earnings tax, businesses have offered varying perspectives on whether the 1 percent tax deters or attracts them to the city.

Billionaire investor and prominent Republican donor Rex Sinquefield is funding the campaign against the tax, saying income taxes hurt private growth. But Mayor Francis Slay has countered that without the tax, which brings in one-third of the city’s annual revenue, services will have to be slashed.

Auditing firm KPMG, which employs 270 at its St. Louis office, said the tax wasn’t an issue.

Pierce Powers, chief executive of Powers Insurance and Benefits, said the tax didn’t deter his company’s move from Clayton to a location near Forest Park, but it did factor into the decision. He said the tax will also cost the company 1 percent on net profits to the city.

“I’m not going to say it helps,” Powers said.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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