KANSAS CITY, MO. – Some forces for an against Kansas City's earnings tax almost agree on a lack of fairness in its collection, but for different reasons. Both sides remain firmly entrenched.
The city's Baptist Ministers Union came out today encouraging congregations to vote for the E Tax April 5th. Doctor Reverend Wallace Hartzfield II responded to a suggestion the tax could be considered unequal, millionaires paying the same rate as the working poor, for whom a dollar has more meaning.
He said the city has never been fair to the poorest residents but the tax income is vital-- "and this is one of the ways we help ourselves. Because the people that have the millions and all that kind of thing, they are not investing in our community."
Hartzfield said the reason the core city has failed is because residents have not demanded change of city hall. And he added, "we will."
Speaking for tax opposition, Jason Klindt says of the fairness' issue-- "the earnings tax is certainly the most regressive tax that you can have. It starts on the first dollar that your earn."
While Klindt and the ministers appear to have some common ground on perceived inequities in the tax collection, they are far apart on principle.
One other development, tax opponents started running their first TV ad today. The spot centers on words of a prominent tax supporter that those who don't like the tax can leave the city.
Mayor-elect Sly James, who attended the ministers' news conference, refused to be baited by questioners. He's firmly behind the earnings tax and said anyone who wanted to know more about the "leave it" comment should ask the man who made it, Dan Cofran.