City earnings tax funds services vital to business and residents

by Hart Nelson | Jan 14, 2016

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is committed to pro-growth tax policies that enhance our region’s attractiveness and global competitiveness, facilitate domestic and foreign investment, and drive job creation.  Our urban core must have the revenue needed to provide efficient services that attract new residents and employers and ensure the safety and security of the entire community.  This is why the Regional Chamber supported the Earnings Tax Measure in 2011 and it is for this same reason that we support allowing city residents to decide at the polls if they want to continue of the tax.

Almost one-third of the city’s general fund budget derives from the earnings tax.  Those who pay this tax and depend on the services provided clearly see the value in what they receive.  In 2011, an overwhelming 87% of residents voted to continue the 1% tax.  Without the earnings tax revenue, the city of St. Louis would be forced to make significant cuts in the critical services, including police and public safety, currently provided to the taxpayers.

At a time when our region is working to improve equity and provide greater opportunities for our residents, we cannot deliver a crippling blow to the revenue stream that funds vital services and programs.  Only six years ago, nearly 70% of Missouri voters favored allowing Kansas City and St. Louis residents to choose this tax.  Residents in both cities should be allowed to decide for themselves if the services provided are worth the cost.