© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Comptroller Green backs earnings tax, opposes Proposition A

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green says she will campaign against Proposition A and will help raise money to defeat the Nov. 2 statewide ballot proposal, which would bar Missouri communities from imposing earnings taxes, and require local authorization votes in the two cities that already have them: St. Louis and Kansas City.

Green says she plans to "speak out against Proposition A on Oct. 1 during her keynote address at the annual Workers Rights Board breakfast."

But she also is pledging to raise at least $5,000 to match the donation of Washington University to the largely union run campaign against Proposition A.

Green is on the same side with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who also opposes Proposition A but concedes that it's likely to pass. Slay has opted to focus primarily on the subsequent April citywide vote on whether to retain the 1 percent earnings tax, in place for decades.

Green says she "believes Proposition A is ill-conceived and will be disastrous for St. Louis, particularly at this time when the city is facing employee furloughs, service reductions and increased service fees."

Green outlined some of her concerns in a commentary in the latest issue of the St. Louis American. She wrote, in part: "Almost one-third of the city’s general fund budget relies on revenue from the earnings tax. To put that into perspective, the city’s police department is roughly one third of the city’s general fund budget this year at $129.4 million.

"The police department’s budget can be directly tied to the city’s earnings tax revenue. Without the earnings tax, it is easy to see that the city of St. Louis would be forced to make drastic cuts in public safety and virtually every other service provided to the taxpayers..."

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.