Kansas City Asks Judge to Bar Earnings Tax Measure from Ballot

A judge in Cole County has until today to decide on a request from Kansas City officials that a controversial measure be kept off the November ballot.

Proposition A would ask Missouri voters to bar earnings taxes in cities that don't already have them and require residents of St. Louis and Kansas City to vote every five years on whether or not they want to keep the tax. In St. Louis the earnings tax accounts for about one-third of the city's general fund -- money used to pay police, fix streets and provide most city services.

The man behind Proposition A -- St. Louis financier Rex Sinquefield -- has proposed no other revenue stream should voters in St. Louis or KC choose to kill the earnings tax. Kansas City hopes its appeal to Judge Jon Beetem challenging the constitutionality of Prop. A will keep the measure off the ballot.

Mayor Francis Slay's office, meanwhile, says it will battle Proposition A when, and if, St. Louis voters are asked to repeal the earnings tax. Absentee voting in Missouri begins Tuesday, meaning Beetem would likely have to make a decision by today.

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