Jefferson City, MO – The way is clear to collect signatures on initiative petitions to eliminate or phase out earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis. Those taxes are budgeted to bring nearly $200 million to Kansas City next year.
Measures would repeal power of some cities to use e taxes or require voters to approve the tax periodically. No new city would be allowed to start up that kind of tax. Marc Ellison is a Jefferson City lawyer who says he was hired to draw the ballot titles, principally, by St. Louis financier Rex Sinquefield. Sinquefield has been described as a wealthy politically conservative businessman. Ellison says there's been no decision which plan to take out for signatures--" They're very reasonable proposals that would allow, predominately, just allow for a vote and if voters choose not to keep the tax instead of just dropping off, it phases out over a period of time".
Prevailing view in Kansas City government is, it cannot operate without the e tax. Ellison says he's been talking with government and business leaders around the state to decide which initiative petition option is most likely to gain favor.
The petition would have to meet criteria in 6 of 9 congressional districts to make it to a ballot. Ellison says the cutoff date for signature collection is May 2nd, 2010.