Voters overwhelmingly approve renewal of KC earnings tax

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City’s earnings tax has passed with overwhelming support. Officials say it raises about $230,000 a year for the city's budget, and passed by a near 3-to-1 ratio.

Supporters said early on that the numbers were stronger than they were five years ago when the tax was previously up for renewal.

The city says the one-percent wage tax funds a number of city services, and that not renewing it could have lead to the cutting of 200 employees per year, for 10 years, and would have lead to a reduction of vital city services.

"It’s critical because it makes up I think 40 percent of the city`s general fund and its essential services that are funded out of this earnings tax. Police, fire protection, the things that make Kansas City strong,” said Joe Reardon, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

"It`s unfair. It`s taxed on the poorest people, the hardest working people in the city," said Dan Coffey with Citizens For Responsible Government of Missouri.

He said that a lot of wealthy corporations end up recouping the money they pay for the tax. He accused the city of scaring and bullying people into voting to renew the tax, and has said the discussion over the way the city handles taxpayer money does not end, despite the tax getting renewed.