St. Louis, MO (KTRS) A bill that calls for eliminating St. Louis’ one-percent earnings tax is moving forward.
The measure was approved by a Senate committee on Thursday. Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia, sponsored the measure, which would eliminate the one-percent earnings tax for St. Louis and Kansas City. In Thursday’s amended version, Kansas City would be spared.
Mayor Francis Slay issued the following statement in response to the Committee’s vote:
“The Missouri General Assembly considers far more bills than it passes. Many of them are proposed to attract attention to a theoretical cause or an ambitious sponsor. They are not actually meant to pass. I believe that bills aimed at the Earnings Taxes of St. Louis and Kansas City belong in that category.
“The voters of Missouri have already said that they believe the Earnings Taxes levied by the state’s largest cities to support their roles as regional economic engines should be reviewed every five years by those cities’ residents. Five years ago, super majorities in both cities approved their extension. Voters in St. Louis and Kansas City will consider them again in April.
“Mayor James and I have both testified in Jefferson City that the consequences of losing the revenue from the Earnings Taxes at this time would cripple public safety and economic development in their cities. I am confident those are viewpoints that a majority of state legislators will ultimately support. And those who do not will be able to make their cases to St. Louis and Kansas City voters directly.”
Meanwhile, the St. Louis earnings tax is on the April ballot. Voters in St. Louis and Kansas City must reauthorize the tax every five years. If voters ever fail to pass the tax, it would be phased out over 10 years.