St. Louis, MO (KTRS) St. Louis City leaders are urging voters to say yes to a measure to maintain the city’s earnings tax.
A media briefing was held Tuesday morning to outline the need according to supporters of contining this tax that has been in place for decades. St. Louis Chief of Staff Mary Ellen Ponder says losing this revenue would force St. Louis to raise taxes and cut services, including within the police department.
“We don’t have enough officers as it is today, so police services would be extremely lessened and we would have to go to other departments because we will not cut the entire police department, but we will probably have to cut it in half.” said Ponder.
Ponder added that eliminating the city’s earning tax won’t be a tax break. “It will be a tax increase on you. We will have to at the minimum increase your property taxes by 44-percent. We’ll have to increase sales taxes by thirteen-percent. It will be a tax increase.”
City leaders claim this tax is the single largest source of revenue, accounting for 33-percent of the general fund budget, or $164 million.
Opponents claim the tax hurts the working poor. The earnings tax measure will appear as Proposition E on the April 5th ballot.