State bill puts KC, St. Louis earnings taxes in crosshairs

After a bill that would have eliminated 1 percent earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis fizzled in the Missouri Legislature in 2016, state lawmakers will once again consider a measure to ax the taxes when they convene for their 2019 session.

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, is sponsoring a bill that would gradually eliminate the earnings taxes over 10 years, starting in 2020.

The taxes are charged on income earned by anyone who lives or works in the cities. In St. Louis, it’s responsible for an estimated 35 percent of municipal revenue. A spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said eliminating the tax would likely force “drastic cuts to personnel and services.”

Outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard blocked 2016 efforts to kill the earning taxes after residents of both cities voted to extend their earnings taxes for five more years.

Eigel, who says income taxes are a deterrent to economic growth, sponsored a bill this year that reduced individual income tax rates across the state. The GOP-controlled legislature also cut corporate taxes, despite opponents’ concerns about a reduction in revenue.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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