Missouri Minute: Jones elected as St. Louis mayor; city earnings taxes re-approved

Hello, MBA readers,

Tishaura Jones made history on Tuesday, becoming the first Black woman elected as mayor of St. Louis. Jones, currently the city’s treasurer, received 51.7% of the vote to beat out Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who received 47.8% of the vote, according to the unofficial tally. Jones vowed to address injustice in the city, saying “it’s time for St. Louis to thrive.” Election Day brought decisive victories for municipal earnings taxes in St. Louis and Kansas City. Voters in both cities approved the renewal of the 1% taxes, which provide sizable revenue streams for both municipal governments. And St. Louis received more favorable news on the earnings tax front, as a federal judge denied an initial bid to force the city to alter its earnings tax refund forms. That’s part of a larger legal challenge on behalf of workers who are employed by businesses in the city but have worked remotely outside of St. Louis during the pandemic.


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Initial legal challenge to St. Louis earnings tax denied
A federal judge has denied an effort to require the city to change its earnings tax refund forms, part of a larger legal challenge over the city’s enforcement of the 1% tax during the pandemic. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Spending bill proposes funds for Medicaid payments, public defenders
A $1 billion supplemental spending bill being considered by state lawmakers plans multiple uses for money not spent on Medicaid expansion. (Missouri Independent)

MU plans for full-capacity classes, events in fall
University of Missouri leaders say they anticipate full-capacity, in-person classes and activities, like football games and concerts, this fall. (KSDK)

Hunt Midwest to expand subterranean park
The Kansas City developer will build out 700,000 square feet of new speculative space within SubTropolis, a subterranean industrial park. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KC casino redevelopment slated to start this summer
Casino operator Bally’s plans to break ground this summer on the first phase of a $40 million overhaul of the former Isle of Capri Casino. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Chicago firm acquires KC Insurance Group
KC Insurance Group’s six employees will join the Kansas City office of Hub International, a full-service global insurance broker. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Biden to nominate Robin Carnahan to lead GSA
The White House will tap the former Missouri secretary of state to lead the General Services Administration, the government’s procurement arm. (Springfield News-Leader)


Say that again

“Of course, we would always like to have assurances that those numbers would never change or drop, but obviously, there are several factors that impacted that.”

That’s Adam Crumbliss of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, addressing projections that the state will receive less than half the number of vaccine doses initially expected for next week. Missouri is slated to receive about 157,000 doses, down from the roughly 351,000 initially anticipated. Crumbliss said the decrease is not related to a mistake at a factory in Baltimore that could have potentially ruined 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The news of reduced shipments comes as Missouri moves to Phase 3 of its vaccination rollout on Friday, making the vaccine available to every adult in the state.


Go figure

1.28 million

The Alliance for Auto Innovation warned that an ongoing semiconductor shortage could result in 1.28 million fewer vehicles being produced this year and disrupt production for six more months, Reuters reports. The auto industry group wrote to the U.S. Department of Commerce this week asking that it dedicate some funding to the auto industry in bill being proposed to spur production of semiconductors. President Joe Biden has ordered federal agency actions to address the semiconductor shortage, and he is seeking $37 billion in funding for legislation to increase chip manufacturing. The chip shortage has led to some auto factories temporarily closing down, including plants in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas.


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St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green offered congratulations Tuesday after St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones defeated Alderwoman Cara Spencer in the St. Louis mayoral race, becoming the first Black woman to be elected mayor in the city’s history, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Jones captured 51.7% of the vote, compared to 47.8% for Spencer, according to unofficial election results. In her acceptance speech, Jones said she would fight injustice and decried racism, homophobia, xenophobia and other intolerance. “It’s time for St. Louis to thrive,” Jones said. Elsewhere in high-profile Election Day decisions, voters in Springfield elected Mayor Ken McClure to a third term. And, in St. Louis and Kansas City, voters re-approved 1% municipal earnings taxes that are key sources of revenue for the cities.


Hello, my name is

Genuen

Lenexa, Kansas-based CertTech is rebranding and taking on the name Genuen. The move follows the company’s acquisitions of Michigan-based WTI last March and Ohio-based Butterfield Engineering last November, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The company specializes in custom testing for regulated industries including aerospace, automotive and defense. CertTech worked with WTI and Butterfield as members of the National Instruments Alliance partner program long before their merger. Genuen will maintain all of the three companies’ offices and facilities, but it will look to expand and bring on more employees.


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