E-Tax Success: Big Win for KC Business
This April, the Greater Kansas City Chamber celebrated a victory as Kansas City, Mo., voters voted overwhelmingly to keep a one percent earning tax. The final vote was 78 percent in favor of retention; 22 percent against.
The campaign to retain the tax was organized and led by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. The earnings tax represents 40 percent of Kansas City’s general revenue funding. Greater Kansas City Chamber President and CEO Jim Heeter said, “It was a campaign that truly unified the city. Our voters showed their innate good sense by approving – by a landslide – the City’s biggest source of revenue. They understood the ramifications of losing $200 million a year from the part of the city budget that pays for police and fire protection and for the basic services that our residents require.”
The vote on the city’s earnings tax was forced by a statewide initiative approved by Missouri voters last November. Following that election, the Chamber joined with the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Heavy Constructors Association, the AFL-CIO and Firefighters Local 42. The group raised more than $1 million to fund the “Keep KC Alive” campaign. Five campaign co-chairs were recruited for an aggressive grassroots campaign and more than 100 business, civic, religious and neighborhood organizations rallied to endorse the tax. The work is not done. There will be a similar vote every five years. The Chamber is now focusing its efforts on legislation in the Missouri General Assembly to extend the required vote from five to 20 years.
Statement from James A. “Jim” Heeter, President and CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber
BusinessWeek.com: Voters in St. Louis/KC agree to keep earnings tax
KCTV5: Kansas City Earnings Tax Passes by Large Margin