Katie Jansen Larson
, director of the interdenominational council Missouri Congregations United
and organizer of the rally, tells Daily RFT
that today's event will include music, prayer and "good preaching" in an effort to spur people into voting no against the controversial Prop. A
Currently the one-percent income tax on St. Louis workers and residents accounts for one-third of the city's general fund
-- money used to pay for day-to-day services such as police and fire protection. If Proposition A passes, residents in St. Louis and Kansas City would vote in a separate election on whether or not to keep the tax. The ballot issue is headed by financier Rex Sinquefield, who's donated more than $10 million
to his Proposition A campaign.
Larson and other religious leaders oppose Prop. A for three key reasons. Says Larson:
1. If we got rid of the earnings tax, we'd need a more regressive tax -- such as increased sales or property taxes -- that would impact low-income residents the most.
2. We want St. Louis to be strong, and there's concern that the elimination of the earnings tax would lower the city's bond rating, making it more difficult to fund investment in St. Louis.
3. Public safety is important, and Proposition A could impact that.
Today's rally is to include a statement from Archbishop Robert Carlson, as well as comments from the following:
Lisa Thompson, president of Metropolitan Congregations United
Bishop Jesse Battle, president of Ecumenical Leadership Council
Darlene Green, St. Louis Comptroller
Rev. Michael Kinman, provost of Christ Church Cathedral
Stephen Conway, Ward 8 alderman
Dennis M. Jenkerson, St. Louis Fire Chief
Lt. Colonel Tim Reagan, St. Louis Police Department
Rev. Starsky Wilson, pastor St. John UCC
St. Louis religious leaders and public officials are hosting a rally today at 5:30 p.m. in Kiener Plaza to oppose Proposition A -- the statewide ballot issue asking Missourians to eliminate local earnings taxes.