Regarding the Editorial, “St. Louisans Should Vote Yes to Prop E To Save Income Tax Again” (March 24): The editorial wrote in favor of St. Louis voters who maintain the 1% income tax. While we acknowledge that the city’s income tax brings significant revenue, we disagree that income tax is the only way to keep the city’s public services alive.
In February, the city approved another major land tax cut and other multi-million dollar subsidies for a new downtown apartment complex. The city is stuck in a loop of giving away so many land tax (and other) incentives that it has forced itself to rely on income tax. It doesn’t have to be like that. Fixing this issue would secure revenue while phasing out a tax that is affecting the city’s economic, employment and population growth.
Most of the major cities in the United States do not have local income taxes. They rely more on sales and property taxes, which are less of a drag on growth. Ending corporate prosperity should be the primary objective in tax replacement. If the city did this, along with some alternative taxes, smart budget cuts, implementing further pension reforms, sharing services with the county, and taking advantage of privatization opportunities, St. Louis could continue to fund necessary services without the income tax.