ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Voters made the decision to retain the city’s earning tax after voting on “Prop E” today. The tax makes up over a third of the city’s budget. It is responsible for paying for basic services like police, fire, EMS, parks, trash collection, and more.
The one percent earnings tax is charged to city residents and nonresidents who work in the St. Louis. It is voted on every five years after statewide Missouri “Proposition A” passed in 2010. The referendum applies to the earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Opponents say the earnings tax stifles job growth in the city and if voters reject it, the tax would be phased out over ten years, giving the city plenty time to find new revenue sources.
The earnings tax brought in $180 million last year. Mayor Krewson said that the city would be forced to dramatically decrease services or increase property and sales taxes if it is not renewed.
A lawsuit is challenging the City of St. Louis’ ability to collect the earnings tax from workers whose employers are in the city but who have been working outside of the city for much of the pandemic.