Missouri city officials prepare for earnings tax vote, while challenges to Proposition A continue
SPRINGFIELD, Missouri: The 2010 general elections have concluded but city officials in Missouri are already looking ahead to 2011's local votes on Kansas City's and St. Louis' earnings taxes. The Missouri Earnings Tax Initiative, Proposition A, approved by 68% of voters, requires the cities to hold hold a referendum on keeping the levy in 2011 and every five years thereafter.
Kansas City civic leaders announced a $1 million campaign to retain the earnings tax. In St. Louis supporters announced a day following the November election that they had $3000,000 in pledged donations and had created a website called Citizens for a Stronger St. Louis. The first earnings tax renewal election, as stipulated by Proposition A, is scheduled for 2011.
However, supporters of the earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City aren't stopping at campaigns to save the taxes, they have also initiated efforts to overturn the voter-approved measure. According to reports, they argue that the measure is unconstitutional. The case is pending and a hearing date has not yet been set. Specifically, supporters argue that the measure does not provide funding for the required elections set by Proposition A. The elections, they said, could cost up to $500,000 each.
Additionally, some lawmakers have launched efforts to amend the recently approved measure. Rep. Tishaura Jones filed legislation which would amend the frequency of elections in St. Louis and Kansas City on the earnings tax issue. The elections would be every 20 years instead of every five years.
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