The St. Louis American has officially come out against Proposition A, the ballot initiative to eliminate the earnings tax that would gut the budgets of St. Louis and Kansas City:
We have argued against Proposition A repeatedly. The city earnings tax in St. Louis is responsible for one-third of city revenue, and no one – not Sinquefield, not Slay – has any idea how to replace that revenue if the tax is eliminated. It is evident that more regressive forms of taxation, especially sales tax, would have to be raised to unconscionably high levels, placing a higher tax burden on the poor and working poor. Letting Prop A pass statewide to fight it locally on the April 2011 ballot makes no sense, because the issue will come up again every five years – shattering the confidence of the bond market in a city that suddenly will not know where one-third of its revenue is coming from. It also is possible that St. Louis could be forced into an economic crisis that would force a drastic downsizing of government in order to retain funding for public safety services. We have argued for reform of the City Charter – including trimming down the Board of Aldermen, which Slay, gutless again, did not endorse – but we do not think that disaster capitalism is the route to achieve this desired end.Image credit: The St. Louis American
While we strongly believe that Proposition A is bad for St. Louis and other municipal governments, which deserve local control over their tax decisions, we also think now is a critical time to show Rex Sinquefield that you can’t buy the public policy you desire. On Nov. 2, we all have an additional 10.7 million reasons to vote NO ON PROPOSITION A.