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Rural Gambit Being Set On E-Tax Vote


Kansas City, Mo. – While local election officials around Missouri verify authenticity of signatures on inititative petitions, there is an assumption the movement to repeal the Kansas City-St. Louis Earnings Tax will be on November's ballot. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports the campaign to repeal will focus much wider than the state's two biggest cities.

Voters in the big metro areas may or may not want the e tax to continue but the thrust will appeal to anti tax sentiments of rural and small town Missourians as well.

The man who wrote the petitions talks about a movement in the 1960's to bring an earnings tax to dozens of small towns. It failed to pass the state legislature. Marc Ellinger says the sentiment could resurface any time. And the current measure would stymie any efforts that direction. So the campaign will aim at urban and rural "to give folks a chance to decide whether they want to keep paying the earnings tax, and if they don't pay an earnings tax now, they live out state somewhere, they get a chance to vote they don't want to have an earnings' tax," Ellinger said.

Two hundred ten thousand signatures may have been collected to put this on the ballot, more than double the number needed. It could be mid summer before the signatures are validated. Local leaders who rely on the e tax to fund Kansas City government treat the measure as a real threat and are expected to formulate a counter campaign.


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