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Kansas City, Missouri, voters approve extension of 1% earnings tax

Housing study
Posted at 8:59 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 23:11:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, voters approved the extension of a 1% city earnings tax Tuesday, keeping an existing tax that officials said has been “core to city operations.”

With 86% of precincts reporting, the measure garnered 22,860 'yes' votes and 7,247 'no' votes.

“Retaining the earnings tax is essential for us," Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas previously told 41 Action News. "This is not your normal tax issue election. This is something that is core to city operations and has been core to city operations for years.”

The renewal is for a five-year period.

Lucas said in a statement Tuesday night that he was ecstatic about the earnings tax extension.

"I’m humbled and grateful that after one of the most challenging years in our city’s history, Kansas Citians showed confidence in their leaders and our efforts to build a safer, healthier, and stronger Kansas City," Lucas said. "With this mandate, my work and that of the City Council will continue to focus on protecting our ability to respond to emergencies and addressing the basic services that have been neglected for too long."

City residents pay the tax, along with non-residents who work in the city and businesses within the city limits.

Funds generated from the tax go toward trash pickup, first responder salaries and other city services.

“We are very pleased with this result, which ensures your fire fighters and paramedics can continue providing the level of service the citizens deserve," Tim Dupin, of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 42, said. "We would like to thank all of the voters who showed up today to support public safety.”

The tax has historically generated more than $292 million annually, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a $23 million revenue loss.

With the approval of the tax, city officials expect it to bring in more than $269 million in the next fiscal year, which begins May 1.