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.
KC Mayor Sly 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 our 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.