Earnings Tax and Propositions Every 5 Years

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
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MarkHaversham wrote:
dbInSouthCity wrote:
^ the NO on E campaign said it will next work on developing a plan to replace the E tax and it will present it to the city leaders for implementation.


That sounds like something they should've done before the election.

You can hardly blame the opponents of the earnings tax for not coming up with an alternative plan for over a decade. They've been too busy ignoring the City.
Don't know if this is something to do with the E Tax or the races in the primary and November or something else. Rex gives $2,806,207 to Great St. Louis. Anyone know anything about it? I think the amount is meant to be the MSA population.

https://twitter.com/momoney2016/status/ ... 4364753920
^ there's been some speculation that King Rex plans to move his e-tax battle to the state ballot initiative front.
He's missed the boat for this year. Next chance is 2018.
I'm sure the city would waive the earnings tax or grant incentives enough for Enterprise to either raise salaries 1% (not likely, that would be pretty huge across the board I imagine when you consider the sheer number of employees they would be installing there).

Eventually the city will have to get to a point where families put down roots there again before they can think about removing the earnings tax. We're a ways away from that. I'm not a fan of the process of exempting big fish from the earnings tax while the small businesses still have to pay it.

But, let's be real. A 1% earnings tax isn't that big of a hit on an IT professional's salary. And Enterprise wouldn't have a tough time replacing those who left the company for such trivial reasons I imagine. Regardless, considering Enterprise as a major tenant here is fairly premature. Hopefully Otis and friends have done enough groundwork to pull in an attractive tenant or two without selling the city again. If not, we need to get people in those leadership positions who can really sell the city to retail and office tenants.
The occupational earnings tax is supported by city residents precisely because its a means to fleece people who don’t live in the city and don’t use city services. The city’s own data supports this and that’s why it’s consistently and overwhelmingly supported in the referendums by city residents. The highest wage earners working in the city limits likely aren’t city residents and also are unlikely to avail themselves of “city services”. Especially at the WUSM/BJC campus, they have their own protective services divisions-both BJC and WUSM, own, operate and maintain their own private parking, etc.

For an entry level IT professional making $70k/year this would translate to an additional $700 going to the city coffers for what? That’s about what annual union dues are for a topped out fleet service clerk -earning approximately $65k without overtime-at American Airlines who gets little to show for their dues from the Transport Workers Union (TWU). I’m sure many here will now say how $700 is not a lot to someone making $70k, how it’s ones civic duty to pay, etc but no one in their right mind would want to pay an unnecessary occupational earnings tax to the city of St. Louis of all entities.
bwcrow1s wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:48 am
I'm sure the city would waive the earnings tax or grant incentives enough for Enterprise to either raise salaries 1% (not likely, that would be pretty huge across the board I imagine when you consider the sheer number of employees they would be installing there).

But, let's be real. A 1% earnings tax isn't that big of a hit on an IT professional's salary. And Enterprise wouldn't have a tough time replacing those who left the company for such trivial reasons I imagine.
I agree with these thoughts. On the employee side, for most office jobs, I am not sure how much of a difference the 1% makes. If you have a job offer in the city and you currently are working in the county chances are it won't fall into that 1% window difference and if it does you probably can negotiate the difference to make up for it.

Can it be annoying to pay it, yes, but I don't think it in the long run is going to influence on what job someone does or doesn't take. Other factors will play in more.
Consider a lot of employees work at tax exempt employers.
The region confers disproportionate responsibilities on the city.
Does a $70k employee who lives outside the city get $2 a day in city services and infrastructure? Streets aren't free. Emergency response to car wrecks, etc aren't either.
The amount property and sales taxes would go up to make up for the earnings tax would be huge, have their own deterrents, and is probably not permitted by the state.
The earnings tax has been more reliable than property or sales taxes. We keep hearing that income taxes are the worst ever, but are they worse than property, sales, utility, etc taxes?
One jurisdiction has it and everyone doesn't, I get that. Just one of many aspects of our screwed up gov't structure.
The occupational earnings tax is supported by city residents precisely because its a means to fleece people who don’t live in the city and don’t use city services.
Obnoxious

If someone works in the city, how can they possibly not be using city services? Do they magically teleport from their home into their office, never walk the streets, never throw away trash?

If you work in the city, you are likely spending a third of your day there. The other two thirds are probably spent at home or sleeping. If someone lives in Clayton or St Charles or wherever, I bet the taxes they pay for that two thirds of their day is far more than the third spend in the city (and doesn't equate to 2/3rds of their taxes spent)

By your logic, people living in Clayton that work in the city shouldn't have to pay Clayton taxes while they're at work.
JAL007 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:32 am
The occupational earnings tax is supported by city residents precisely because its a means to fleece people who don’t live in the city and don’t use city services. The city’s own data supports this and that’s why it’s consistently and overwhelmingly supported in the referendums by city residents. The highest wage earners working in the city limits likely aren’t city residents and also are unlikely to avail themselves of “city services”. Especially at the WUSM/BJC campus, they have their own protective services divisions-both BJC and WUSM, own, operate and maintain their own private parking, etc.
Really.....so people working in the City and living in the county have no use for City supported Scottrade center? No use for roads, no use for the fact that City is the regions center of culture? taxes aren't al carte, you cant pick and choose

also WOW you mean to say that a private business like WUSM/BJC get free public parking in the county and other cities with earnings tax?
JAL007 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:32 am
The occupational earnings tax is supported by city residents precisely because its a means to fleece people who don’t live in the city and don’t use city services.
Earnings Tax is a misnomer.

Remember the old adage—"If you ever see anyone publicly urinating in St. Louis, he's either homeless or from Chesterfield."

It's a Pissings Tax.
We tax people from outside the city because they come into the city and piss all over it.

The tax is a result of ongoing current and past events such as—
Mardi Gras
Blues Games
St. Patrick's Day parade
Dogtown Hibernian parade
Cinco de Mayo
Cardinals Games
VP Fair/Fair St. Louis
Stassenfest
LouFest
OktoberFest
Halloween
New Years Eve
Soulard any random Friday/Saturday
Laclede's Landing back in the day

:lol: Half kidding
:evil: Half not
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL

And for anyone who thinks losing one percent of your pretax salary is a non issue please PM me your address. I will send you a self addressed stamp envelope and name of who you should make the check out to.
San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh?
:roll:
San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL
Exactly. Most places welcome employers because they bring daytime activity, including the revered sales taxes and real estate taxes paid by the employer. Having people work in a city is a net benefit. It's as though this concept is lost on those defending as earnings tax so some sort of tit-for-tat for "providing services" for the privilege of spending money and working at a tax paying employer. And of course the City is just fine at taxing real estate and excels at collecting sales taxes as well.
San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL

And for anyone who thinks losing one percent of your pretax salary is a non issue please PM me your address. I will send you a self addressed stamp envelope and name of who you should make the check out to.
Agreed many very delusional comments on the impact of the earnings tax here. What about the thousands of people (higher income earning) white collar professionals in Clayton who live in St. Charles County, in another municipality in St. Louis County or anywhere else for that matter. Clayton doesn’t tax them for using city services, city maintained roads, etc. I understand from the city perspective why it’s popular and continues to be supported by city residents as it shoulders non-residents with a disproportionate burden of the costs of running their government.
bprop wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:05 pm
Exactly. Most places welcome employers because they bring daytime activity, including the revered sales taxes and real estate taxes paid by the employer. Having people work in a city is a net benefit. It's as though this concept is lost on those defending as earnings tax so some sort of tit-for-tat for "providing services" for the privilege of spending money and working at a tax paying employer. And of course the City is just fine at taxing real estate and excels at collecting sales taxes as well.
A lot of employers in the city are tax exempt.
We've seen how cities chasing sales taxes has played out. At least the earnings tax encourages the city gov't to seek jobs.
Of course it'd be nice not to have the earnings tax. Just like it'd be nice not to have sales, property, etc taxes.
Sales and property taxes have been going up, up, up while the earnings tax has been the same at least.
JAL007 wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:58 am
I understand from the city perspective why it’s popular and continues to be supported by city residents as it shoulders non-residents with a disproportionate burden of the costs of running their government.
The region burdens the city with a disproportionate amount of the region's problems.
^ For example, maybe anywhere else in the region could provide homeless services. Oh, wait, I forgot that homeless people are grown in pods in the city and are therefore the city's problem.

And maybe county folks could be held responsible for leaving their guns unsecured in their cars.

San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL
Because spending 5 minutes driving through a municipality (likely on a highway and not on muni roads anyway) is the same as spending a third of your life there.

San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
And for anyone who thinks losing one percent of your pretax salary is a non issue please PM me your address. I will send you a self addressed stamp envelope and name of who you should make the check out to.
But you don't provide me with any services. Obviously bad analogy.
JAL007 wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:58 am
Agreed many very delusional comments on the impact of the earnings tax here.
But it's not at all delusional for people to abandon the city for the suburbs and still expect the city to be well-maintained and subsidize their entertainment for them. Oh, the Blues want $107 million for a bigger scoreboard and fancier box seats? County? County, where 90% of Blues game attendees live? Helloooooooo? Well, just take it out of general revenue I guess!
In a vacuum the 1% earnings tax is not terrible. The problem is that a whole lot of people want 1%, theoretically speaking.

And the services you talk about are more or less average to fail at best. Maybe 2% would make them amazing?

Remember when garbage pick up was "free"? Some people would bang their chest and say "by golly garbage service is "free" and it's because we all chip in on the earnings tax". Then it wasn't free. Then the price doubled. Then sewer and water went up and property taxes were raised even while the city was still losing people.

How can the earnings tax (or lack of it) be considered a financial incentive for some businesses but not for all? I don't get it.

Does the city exist? Yes. Is it because of the way taxes are collected and they way the money is spent? No, it's despite of it. The city is completely mismanaged and anyone who isn't ideological will admit it.

I will happily pay my taxes and pay for services because I'm not an idiot but if you don't resist there is no end to how much they wall want/take.
Agreed many very delusional comments on the impact of the earnings tax here. What about the thousands of people (higher income earning) white collar professionals in Clayton who live in St. Charles County, in another municipality in St. Louis County or anywhere else for that matter. Clayton doesn’t tax them for using city services, city maintained roads, etc. I understand from the city perspective why it’s popular and continues to be supported by city residents as it shoulders non-residents with a disproportionate burden of the costs of running their government.
Have that many employers and employees left the city because of the earnings tax? I fail to see the exodus of jobs because of people not wanting to pay an earnings tax. Where is the negative impact that we are so delusional about?
urban_dilettante wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:45 pm
^ For example, maybe anywhere else in the region could provide homeless services. Oh, wait, I forgot that homeless people are grown in pods in the city and are therefore the city's problem.

And maybe county folks could be held responsible for leaving their guns unsecured in their cars.

San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL
Because spending 5 minutes driving through a municipality (likely on a highway and not on muni roads anyway) is the same as spending a third of your life there.

San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
And for anyone who thinks losing one percent of your pretax salary is a non issue please PM me your address. I will send you a self addressed stamp envelope and name of who you should make the check out to.
But you don't provide me with any services. Obviously bad analogy.
One could make the argument that the city doesn't either, har, har... I kid, I kid... Kinda...

"Obviously" (said in a mocking tone as a reply to your final comment) you missed who I was addressing these comments to. The first comment was to those who sited roads as the "service" being provided. The second comment was to those who claimed the 1% earnings tax was negligible.

Lemme know if you're still struggling with the concepts. I'll put together a Powerpoint deck starting at the beginning: Slide one: A hole in the ground. Slide two: Yer rear.
Cities Per Cent of Budget from Income Tax. (KC MO dot hidden behind KC KS dot.)

Image

Terrific Web Site for Mapping a variety of stats: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
https://placedatabase.policymap.com
San Luis Native wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:15 pm
"Obviously" (said in a mocking tone as a reply to your final comment) you missed who I was addressing these comments to. The first comment was to those who sited roads as the "service" being provided. The second comment was to those who claimed the 1% earnings tax was negligible.

Lemme know if you're still struggling with the concepts. I'll put together a Powerpoint deck starting at the beginning: Slide one: A hole in the ground. Slide two: Yer rear.
Not mocking. Was using the word literally.

Still not seeing how my comments were somehow out of context. Yeah, some city streets could be better maintained but it could be much, much worse. That's what happens when 2/3 of the population runs to the suburbs and the city has to maintain infrastructure built for nearly a million people on 1/3 the budget (while also subsidizing suburbanites' entertainment for them). And regardless of your definition of "negligible," mailing money to you in return for nothing is not analogous to paying taxes in return for services, imperfect as they may be.

But I'd be happy to take a look at that presentation. Let me know when you're ready for it and I'll send you a picture of my rear. :wink:
San Luis Native wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:22 pm
So if I live in the city and work in the county I guess I'm getting one over on the municipality I work in and every one I drive thru to get to work, eh? LOL
You're probably driving on state/federal highways, for one thing.
JAL007 wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:58 am
What about the thousands of people (higher income earning) white collar professionals in Clayton who live in St. Charles County, in another municipality in St. Louis County or anywhere else for that matter. Clayton doesn’t tax them for using city services, city maintained roads, etc. I understand from the city perspective why it’s popular and continues to be supported by city residents as it shoulders non-residents with a disproportionate burden of the costs of running their government.
Clayton uses sales tax for that purpose.