YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide!
If it were not so sad, it would be amusing to watch the opponents of Proposition A – Let Voters Decide flounder and resort to outright lies and distortions in their attempts to defeat the proposition. Almost without exception, the opponents of letting voters decide are those who already have or those who want to “reserve the right” to have their hands deep in taxpayer pockets!
The primary supporters of YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide truly believe that the negative impacts of earnings taxes affect the whole state. “Wait,” you might say. “Aren’t some of these ‘supporters’ paid?” The answer is yes, some of them are. However, there are a lot of supporters of YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide who live and work in communities across the state and are not paid to support it! They recognize the fallacies of the opposition and the benefit of a YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide.
One of the best, real-world examples of why YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide is the right thing to do comes from the Lee’s Summit Conservative Blog. The writer uses the real life example of his son and his transitions through life, spending more money as he earned more money etc. Then they bring it back to the cities and Proposition A. It’s a good read! (Editor’s Note: The blog appears to indicate that earnings taxes could be put into place without a vote of the people, which the Hancock Amendment would prevent. However, contrary to the Missouri Municipal League’s false claims, no city other than KC, St Louis and St Joseph are authorized an earnings tax and no local control is being taken away!)
Dr. John Lilly, MBA DO, pracitices and resides in Springfield. He is president of the Y.O.U.N.G. Conservatives of America and recently wrote this op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader about why he is a YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide:
Proposition A is about preventing the use of earnings taxes as a new source of revenue and being able to sunset the existing earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis. Governmental entities love to look for new sources of revenue instead of looking for ways to cut expenses. In the private sector, organizations work hard to reduce expenses because of competition. In the public sector, governmental entities have a monopoly and have no incentive to cut expenses. The only way to hold down expenses is to starve the beast. It is also a raw grab for easy money when professional athletes play in a city and pay 1 percent of their earnings for the day and receive virtually no benefits in return. Vote “Yes” on Proposition A.
Another down-to-earth assessment of why you should vote YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide comes from Kerry Messer at the Missouri Family Network. Kerry does a good job of pointing out that “A trend in local government tax schemes is to find new sources of taxation.” (Editor’s Note: Most government units will nibble and make cuts that are nominal and then threaten to make cuts that really hurt if taxpayers don’t pay the ransom, er, I mean vote for the tax being requested.) Kerry also aptly points out that for years, the public school lobby has been seeking authority to levy a personal income tax “option” at the local school district level. He also very astutely points out the fiscal reason why earnings taxes should not be adopted,
“Local income taxes stifle job creation in much the same way as small business over taxation. To avoid the tax businesses and employers establish their presence down the road outside the local taxing jurisdiction, or in a far away community. Many established businesses close shop and relocate when these kind of new taxes become too oppressive. Without effective job creation incentives most communities cannot grow or even hold their own. When tax policies become too intrusive a community can begin to deteriorate further stressing the revenue base.”
Bob McCarty echoes Kerry’s sentiments on his blog at Bob McCarty Writes: The Ultimate Blogging Machine:
A trend in local government tax schemes is to find new sources of taxation. St. Louis City and Kansas City aggressively tax local payrolls through their municipal income tax. (The public school lobby has been seeking authority to do the same at the local school district level.) While this increases revenues for the local governing authorities, it also creates its own negative outcomes. Meanwhile other local governments covet a local income tax too. If you think you’re taxed enough already, “VOTE YES!” I will.
We wrap up with a blog entry from The Columbia Heartbeat, written by Mike Martin. He says,
Killing the earnings tax would be one way to bring new life to Missouri’s urban gems. If these two cities with the tax could point to decades of success, I’d feel otherwise.
While a YES on Proposition A – Let Voters Decide will not “kill the earnings tax,” it would give the people of Kansas City and St. Louis a chance to renew their support of it periodically. Many of the opponents of Proposition A say letting voters decide periodically is a bad thing. It’s funny that most of this comes from the Kansas City area where they undoubtedly have the most “sunset” taxes in the state! The taxing entities have to make the case to the voters why those taxes should be renewed and if the voters agree, they vote to renew.
Why are Kansas City and St. Louis bureaucrats, public sector unions and elected officials so afraid of the people? Could it be that if the voters really found out how wasteful the cities are they may not renew the tax, making the cities actually responsive to the citizens rather than the special interests? Time will tell!