Several civic leaders from Kansas City have gone to court challenging a voter-approved state law on municipal earnings taxes.
The ballot measure approved last November requires Kansas City and St. Louis to ask voters every five years to renew the city earnings taxes. The two communities are Missouri's only cities with local earnings taxes.
A lawsuit filed Monday in Cole County Circuit Court contends the Kansas City charter authorizes the local earning tax and does not require the periodic renewal vote.
City Voters Overwhelmingly Agree to Keep Earnings Tax
Now that voters in both of Missouri's large cities have renewed their earnings taxes, leaders of both St. Louis and Kansas City say now is the time for a hard look at how they operate. Kansas City voted Tuesday to keep its 1 percent earnings tax by a 3-to-1 margin. The gap was bigger in St. Louis, where nearly 90 percent of voters favored the 1 percent tax.
It's election day in Missouri and voters in St. Louis and Kansas City will head to the polls to decide whether to retain each community's 1 percent earnings tax. In St. Louis, the $140 million from the tax is about a third of the city's revenue. If the proposition fails, the tax will be phased out over the next ten years.
Next Tuesday, St. Louis City voters will vote on Proposition E. If the proposition passes, the city will retain its 1 percent earnings tax. If the proposition fails, the tax will be phased out over the next ten years. Supporters and critics of the earnings tax disagree on many things, including how the tax affects the economic vitality of the city and how prominently the tax figures into people’s decisions to live or work in St. Louis. But many agree on this: no replacement for the earnings tax is in place and a transition to any combination of alternatives could prove painful.