Kansas City Mayor Sly James says it was surprised Kansas City was removed from a bill aimed at eliminating the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis.
A Senate substitute for the bill now calling for the earnings tax in St. Louis to be phased out over 10 years.
The tax generates about $162 million dollars ayear for the city, according to Mayor Francis Slay’s office. That is about 33% of the St. Louis City budget.
The mayor said in a statement Thursday he does not think the revised bill will survive.
State Senator Kurt Schaefer pushed the bill. He said the earnings tax was vulnerable because the US Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Maryland.
Kansas City officials argued its law was legally sound. They told a State Senate hearing the kansas City earning tax contained a provison to allow for tax credits. That prevents non-residents from being double taxed on the 1% tax; and keep it legal.
Meanwhile Kansas City’s Mayor used a news conference to expand on a fued with state lawmakers.
“The issue of local control is an on-going issue with the state legislature,” James said.
He has been very critical of state attempts to make access to guns easier. He think it hurts crime fighting efforts in the city.
Another issue is control of the municipal courts.
Just Thursday, the Missouri Senate passed a bill limiting municipal courts ability to assess fines.
The measure limits fine to $200 for minor traffic violations and local ordinances.
Kansas City is concerned a limit like that may affect is ability to enforce housing codes.
“What I said t them when I was down there was, I’m not asking for a penny. All I am asking you is to leave us alone. I am still on that same note,” ,James said Thursday.
Kansas City will still have an April 5 vote to renew its earnings tax. That is required by state law