Senate bill no longer targets Kansas City earnings tax

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, will run for Attorney General in 2016. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A bill in the Missouri Senate that would have eliminated the earnings tax in both St. Louis and Kansas City by 2017 was amended Thursday morning to exclude Kansas City.

The Missouri Senate Ways and Means Committee approved SB 575, which now goes to the full Senate for floor debate. The bill, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, now focuses exclusively on St. Louis’ earnings tax, phasing it out over 10 years.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay testified at a hearing earlier this month that 88 percent of voters chose to keep the earnings tax the last time it came up for a vote, which was in 2011.  Another vote is scheduled for April.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James | Photo courtesy of
Kansas City Mayor Sly James | Photo courtesy of

Kansas City leaders, including Mayor Sly James, continue to oppose the bill even with the revision. James said in a statement that removing Kansas City from the bill is a step in the right direction, but “…all cities should have the right to decide how to govern themselves.”

Both cities rely on the 1 percent tax to pay for public services such as police, fire, trash removal and other services.

Read more: Kansas City Star, St. Louis Public Radio

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