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League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters

Friend,

In less than a month Missouri Voters will be asked to decide on drastic changes to the earnings tax that provides a large portion of support for St. Louis and Kansas City.  The League of Women Voters wants to be sure all voters recognize the serious attack on our state economy and our two major cities that Proposition A represents. 

We depend on government to provide those services to its citizens that cannot be provided individually.   Public schools, roads, buses, police and fire protection, public health regulations, and libraries are among the important services that require collective support.

Proposition A would allow voters to decide whether to eliminate or retain the earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City without providing a substitute means of paying for the services mentioned above. Although these two cities are the only cities in the state with an earnings tax, the entire state must vote on the issue.  The current earnings tax is a one percent tax on salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation, paid by all employed city residents whether they work in the city or elsewhere, and by all non-residents who work in the two cities.  The proposition would also prohibit any other city from ever adopting an earnings tax, even if voters decided at the local level that this would be the best option for them.

It would also decimate the two largest cities in the state, often thought of as the state's economic engines.  The earnings tax makes up about one third of St. Louis' general revenue budget and close to 40-percent of the Kansas City budget.  Sales taxes and property taxes are two major taxes that support city budgets. To raise the equivalent revenue from the lost earnings tax would require a huge increase in the sales tax or tripling property taxes-- neither a viable solution-and they would put an untenable burden on those least able to pay.

Whether one believes in the earnings tax or not, now is not the time to withdraw crucial revenue from St. Louis and Kansas City. The League of Women Voters believes that it is essential to maintain local control and retain the present revenue source for Missouri's two largest cities.  Proposition A is a risky proposition and should be rejected.  For more information please visit the Action Center at LWVMissouri.org

League of Women Voters of Missouri
8706 Manchester Road, Ste 104
St. Louis, Missouri 63144-2724

Phone & Fax: 314-961-6869