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April 06, 2011


Eric Rogers

St. Louis is already planning on to phase out the earnings tax, and doesn't plan to vote on it again in five years.

The thing is, central cities without earnings taxes often struggle with very high property taxes. I lived in Des Moines for a bit, and they have a lot of trouble competing with suburbs because their property tax is very high. An earnings tax is one of their possible solutions for lowering the property tax differential.

Closer to home, KCK is another example of a city considering an earnings tax as a way to compete with lower suburban property taxes.

The reality is that central cities almost always have higher tax burdens, because they carry the cost of expensive things like stadiums, arenas, zoos, museums, public hospitals, etc. We can fiddle with the balance between different types of taxes, but someone will always be complaining that they rent is too damn high.



I understand that if there are services that we need to pay for, someone has to pay.

But a lot of cities have figured out how to manage this and still increase business base and increase the population in their urban core.

I certainly think it's fair to ask what Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, etc are doing right vs having a tax structure that is shared almost entirely by cities that are failing....

I'd rather mirror what successful cities are doing vs mirroring what is going on in Baltimore, Wilmington, Birmingham, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.


I think we already had a discussion about the earnings tax. It was Tuesday. Everybody said they liked it.

Weren't you listening? Or is your head so stuffed full of shit you can't hear the PEOPLE TALKING?

Your blogs posts are so routinely typical - "let's discuss this, bash The Star, let's think about doing something else even though people are OVERWHELMINGLY in favor of keeping the earnings tax" - and so devoid of real opinion that I'm surprised you're even motivated to do it.

The Star at least has the best interests of the city in clear focus. Your X-Ray vision glasses are special but they don't reflect reality at all.

Try it, or just shut this waste of bandwidth down.


Again, I note. There were two options on the table -- one to cut a significant part of the budget with no idea how to replace it -- the other, to do nothing.

We overwhelmingly chose to do nothing.

That's fine - -but that doesn't mean there are only two options. And if presented with other alternatives to replacing the revenue, the voters may choose different routes.

But unfortunately, many policy leaders seem unwilling to want to have a conversation about possible solutions. You seem to be in the same boat. St. Louis has decided that they are going to spend the next 5 years coming up with better solutions and then removing the tax before the next vote on it. We seem very content to do nothing. And you may not have noticed, the status quo isn't working for a lot of people in Kansas City.

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