The City's earnings tax has come under attack by a "Vote No" committee
with an undetermined interest in the outcome.
Ads Vote No is broadcasting or mailing claiming that a lawyer
doesn't pay earnings tax while a janitor does are simply false. And inflammatory.
Everyone working or living in the city of St. Louis pays a 1% tax on their
earnings. Saying anything else is a lie. Implying anything else is as close to
a lie as you can get without falling in.
In 2011, the Missouri Council for a Better Economy, a group
funded by retired businessman Rex Sinquefield, commissioned a study which
explores a 10-year phase out of the earnings tax. This study did exactly what
it was supposed to do: It examined and put forth alternative taxes that could
be put into place if the City lost its earnings tax.
But, the study also did something else, and something never
mentioned by the Vote No campaign: It did not recommend phasing out the
The study shows that all of the alternative revenue sources
proposed are not only not sufficient to replace the earnings tax, but that they
may have worse economic effects if put into place instead. The study notes that
the earnings tax is “broad based without exemptions,” while critiquing ideas
such as raising the property tax and sales tax for their negative, regressive
The study goes even further to examine the city’s
expenditures. And, once again, we find the study on our side. It notes that the
city “has made extensive budget and personnel cuts in recent years… it is
unlikely that the budget contains significant additional personnel-related
reductions that will not have an impact on provision of services.” I agree.
In 2011, City voters approved extending the earnings tax for
five years. I expect City voters will
again approve an extension on Tuesday, despite a million dollar campaign based
on a divisive lie.
Vote Yes on Proposition E.