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Government, Politics & Issues

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.

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