St. Louis voters retain earnings tax by wide margin

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Despite a well-funded opposition effort backed by billionaire financier Rex Sinquefield, voters Tuesday decided the city of St. Louis will retain it’s one percent earnings tax on people who work or live there.

According to unofficial election results, voters​ approved keeping the measure in place with 72 percent of the vote.  City officials have argued that eliminating the earnings tax would create a significant budget hole, while opponents argued that the tax is unfair because it is often negotiated away as a carrot for luring some employers but not others to St. Louis.

City voters currently have to vote every five years to retain the earnings tax. Lawmakers in Jefferson City have introduced legislation that would repeal it.

Mayor Francis Slay issued the following statement on the retention of the City’s earnings tax:

“There has been a good week of news for City residents. First, NGA; now a resounding victory for Yes on E.  City voters rejected a very dangerous gamble with our public safety and credit rating.  The people who helped win tonight – as grassroots as you can get – are now poised to do even more great things.”

Stephanie Lewis, Spokeswoman NO on E Tax statement:

“Over the past several weeks of this campaign, we talked to more than 10,000 voters on their front porches.  Tonight, over 12,000 voters voiced their opposition to the status quo directly on the ballot.”

“So, tomorrow begins the next phase of this campaign.  We will begin thoroughly examining City Government to find inefficiencies and waste and make specific recommendations for phasing out the earnings tax without cutting police, fire, or vital city services.  We will then work with city officials to begin the implementation.”