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On December 1st the prefiling of bills started in the House for the first regular session of Missouri’s 96th General Assembly.

Representative Tishuara Jones (D-63) prefiled HB 26, a bill which appears to try to fix some of the mess that was caused by Proposition A.

The cities of Kansas City and St. Louis will have the continuation of their current earnings taxes on the April 2011 ballot. And also because of Proposition A those votes will occur every five years if the continuation of the tax is approved by the voters in those respective cities.

The problem is that with the current five year time line on those earnings taxes it makes it more expensive to sell bonds. With no guarantee that the revenue will be there in year six longer term bonds become riskier for the holder and hence, more expensive for the cities.

The taxpayers in those cities can thank Rex Sinquefield for that.

HB 26 is an attempt to lengthen the term of the earnings taxes from five to twenty years. The text:

FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 26

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES JONES (63) (Sponsor), CURLS, BEATTY, CARTER, WALTON GRAY, NASHEED, SMITH (71), MAY AND TALBOY (Co-sponsors).

0168L.01I   D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk

AN ACT

To repeal sections 92.105, 92.111, and 92.115, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof three new sections relating to city earnings taxes.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Sections 92.105, 92.111, and 92.115, RSMo, are repealed and three new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 92.105, 92.111, and 92.115, to read as follows:

92.105. It is the intent of sections 92.105 to 92.125 that starting in 2011 voters in any city imposing an earnings tax [will] shall decide in local elections to continue the earnings tax. If the majority of local voters vote to continue the earnings tax, it [will] shall continue for [five] twenty years and then [will] shall be voted on again. If a majority of voters in any city having an earnings tax vote against continuing the earnings tax, it [will] shall be phased out pursuant to section 92.125 in such city over a period of ten years. Further, sections 92.105 to 92.125 prohibit any Missouri city or town that does not, as of November 2, 2010, impose an earnings tax, from imposing such a tax on residents and businesses.

92.111. 1. After December 31, 2011, no city, including any constitutional charter city, shall impose or levy an earnings tax, except a constitutional charter city that imposed or levied an earnings tax on November 2, 2010, may continue to impose the earnings tax if it submits to the voters of such city pursuant to section 92.115 the question whether to continue such earnings tax for a period of [five] twenty years and a majority of such qualified voters voting thereon approve such question, however, if no such election is held, or if in any election held to continue to impose or levy the earnings tax a majority of such qualified voters voting thereon fail to approve the continuation of the earnings tax, such city shall no longer be authorized to impose or levy such earnings tax except to reduce such tax in the manner provided by section 92.125.

2. As used in sections 92.111 to 92.200, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the term “earnings tax” means a tax on the:

(1) Salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned by its residents;

(2) Salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned by nonresidents of the city for work done or services performed or rendered in the city;

(3) Net profits of associations, businesses or other activities conducted by residents;

(4) Net profits of associations, businesses or other activities conducted in the city by nonresidents;

(5) Net profits earned by all corporations as the result of work done or services performed or rendered and business or other activities;

92.115. 1. Any constitutional charter city which as of November 2, 2010, imposed or levied an earnings tax may continue to impose or levy an earnings tax, pursuant to sections 92.111 to 92.200, if it submits to the qualified voters of such city on the next general municipal election date immediately following November 2, 2010, and once every [five] twenty years thereafter, the question whether to continue to impose and levy the earnings tax authorized pursuant to sections 92.111 to 92.200, and if a majority of qualified voters voting approve the continuance of the earnings tax at such election.

2. The question submitted to the qualified voters in any such city shall contain the earnings tax percentage imposed and the name of the city submitting the question and shall otherwise contain exactly the following language:

Shall the earnings tax of …..%, imposed by the City of ….., be continued for a period of [five (5)] twenty (20) years commencing January 1 immediately following the date of this election?

YES        NO

3. If the question whether to continue to impose and levy the earnings tax fails to be approved by the majority of qualified voters voting thereon, the earnings tax levied and imposed on November 2, 2010, shall be reduced pursuant to section 92.125 commencing January first of the calendar year following the date of the election held under this section or January first of the calendar year following the calendar year in which such election was authorized under this section but not held by such city.

4. No city which has begun reductions of its earnings tax pursuant to section 92.125 [may] shall, by ordinance or any other means, with or without voter approval, stop or suspend such reduction.

[emphasis in original]

Good luck in getting this through a republican dominated General Assembly.