overwhelming approved Proposition A
, requiring city residents to vote on the tax every five years.
St. Louis' one-percent earnings tax for residents and people who work within city limits raises $141 million annually
and accounts for one-third of the city's general fund for services such as police and fire protection.
Slay calls the earnings tax "essential to the operation" of the city
and hopes his campaign committee, Citizens for a Stronger St. Louis, will help persuade others before the tax is forced to a vote this April. If the majority of residents vote against the tax, the city has ten years to phase it out.
By last week Slay's campaign committee had already raised $300,000 in pledges
. But will that money even matter?
Rex Sinquefield, the anti-income-tax crusader who bankrolled Proposition
A, has yet to reveal his plans for the April vote. Yesterday Slay rebuked rumors
that he agreed not to fight the statewide Proposition A effort if Sinquefield promised not to fund a campaign for the April vote.
One would assume,
though, that after spending $11 million of his own money
on Proposition A, Sinquefield would be willing to shell out a few more million to see his effort through to the end.
Reached for comment today, Sinquefield had only this to say of Slay's $300K:
Mayor Francis Slay has formed a campaign committee to save St. Louis' earning tax after Missourians last week