Municipal elections to be held across Missouri Tuesday, April 5th

Remember to get out and vote next Tuesday, April 5th, 2011--municipal elections are being held in cities across Missouri, with city council and mayor positions up for a vote, as well as the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Friendly Candidates
We know of at least a couple of bicycle and pedestrian friendly candidates who are running this year--Scott Ogilvie in the 24th Ward of St. Louis and Fred Schmidt in the 1st Ward in Columbia.

Do you know of any other candidates including bicycle and pedestrian issues in their campaigning?  Please let us know.

And it's not too late to do candidate questionnaires similar to those done by Kansas City advocates for their election last week.  Contact us if you'd like help, advice, and assistance.

Kansas City and St. Louis voters decide fate of E-tax
Kansas City and St. Louis have a major question in front of them: Whether or not to renew the 1% earnings tax levied on workers in both cities.

Revenue from the tax makes up a very significant portion of the general revenue for each city--40% of Kansas City's general revune--and the proposal on the ballot repeals the tax but does not provide any way to replace the revenue the tax provides.

This makes the question of whether or not to renew the earnings tax an important one for voters in those cities.

The West End Word has an analysis fo the issue from the St. Louis perspective while the Kansas City Star has an analysis of both sides of the issue:

People wanting to continue the tax should vote “Yes” on the e-tax ballot question. People wanting to eliminate it should vote “No.” Proponents argue the tax is essential to the city’s ongoing success because it generates $200 million in revenue, or 40 percent of the basic services budget for police, firefighters, trash collection and other programs. . . 

Opponents contend the tax is burdensome and deters growth in the city, prompting businesses and residents to locate in neighboring cities that don’t impose such a tax.

Another KCStar article summarizes key facts about the E-tax:

Non-residents pay

The city estimates up to half of the e-tax is paid by non-residents.

All that money

The tax raised about $200 million in the last fiscal year. This was about 40 percent of the general fund, which means it pays for things like police, fire protection, trash collection, street maintenance and other basic services.

Not small potatoes

If the city’s total budget is $1.2 billion, isn’t the e-tax just a small portion of that?

Not really. The city’s total budget includes about $700 million for the water department, the airports and other programs that are paid for with user fees or earmarked taxes. The general fund for basic services is about $500 million, and that’s where the e-tax money goes.

Read more facts about the E-tax here.