Missy McCoy


This Law Summary begins with a discussion of the history of the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis City starting with both cities' designations as home rule cities.10 Being home rule cities allowed them independence in governing their populace and the eventual implementation of an earnings tax through city charters and state enabling statutes. Next, this Law Summary discusses Proposition A's repeal of the previous enabling statutes, the institution of new statutes, and the prohibition of any other city from passing an earnings tax. This Law Summary takes the position that Proposition A, funded largely by St. Louis-area businessman and fundraiser Rex Sinquefield, unfairly put the earnings tax issue to a vote of the entire state even though it primarily affected only St. Louis City and Kansas City. The earnings tax may have survived its first brush with death as residents voted overwhelmingly to retain it in April 2011, but the worry is far from over. Elimination of the earnings tax as a revenue source for St. Louis City and Kansas City would create a gaping hole in those cities' budgets and leave city officials scrambling to replace the revenue.

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