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Mayor Jim O’Neil Urges ‘No’ on Prop A

Proposition A

Springfield Mayor Jim O’Neil urges voters to vote “no” on Proposition A in the November 2 election. KSMU’s Adam Hammons heard what he had to say this week and also talked with a supporter of Pop A.

Proposition A deals with an earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis.

The proposition would give residents of these cities a chance to vote on whether to keep this earnings tax or phase it out over the next ten years. It would also prohibit any other city from adding a new earnings tax to fund its budget.

An earnings tax is a one percent tax on salaries, wages, commissions and other compensations. Currently, Kansas City, St. Louis, and St. Joseph are the only cities allowed to have an earnings tax. Springfield does not have one.

Springfield Mayor Jim O’Neil is against the proposition. He says if Prop A were to pass, it would be the first step in limiting local control of taxes.

“Why is it a state-wide issue? The answer to that is the hidden agenda that exists here-- and that is to take away local control. People that have an agenda that they want to promote with millions and millions of dollars of their own money want us to be able to, they want to cripple local control of finances where our voters can decide on how they want to raise money and to spend money.”

Marc Ellinger is the spokesperson for “Let Voters Decide,” an organization pushing to get Prop A passed. He says he would like to give voters in Kansas City and St. Louis a chance to vote on the earnings tax.

“St. Louis and Kansas City, which have this third income tax, are losing businesses hand over fist, and those businesses that are leaving are saying that one of the reasons they leave is because of the earnings tax. And we would not like to see that effect occur in other cities across the state of Missouri.”

The money gained from the tax in Kansas City and St. Louis is over 330 million dollars combined.

The issue will appear before all Missouri voters on November 2.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.