Leave US alone!

Last week the Mayor and a host of city leaders gathered at Fire Station 10 at 9th & The Paseo to decry a Missouri House Bill filed by a St. Charles Republican that would cap sales taxes in the state of Missouri at 14%. The Mayor’s money quote on the matter was, “I’m not asking the state legislature to do anything other than leave us alone.”

Well, Mr. Mayor, the citizens of this city only want one thing from you and that’s to be left alone, as well. We’d like to be free from your over-reaching tax and spend schemes that continue to divide the city and separate citizens from their hard-earned cash in favor of legacy projects and keeping political promises.

While the Mayor would have you believe this House Bill hinders the city from collecting taxes that is most clearly not the case. Make no mistake: governmental agencies are the largest collection agencies in the world, and they’re extremely good at their job – as this tax-paying news dog can attest. This issue is all about the ability to levy additional taxes so the mayor can keep promises made to his developer cronies on the Two and Three Light taxpayer-funded parking garages downtown. If you remember this from recent Council sessions, this is the same project where we’re told that a $1,600 per month luxury apartment is ridiculously considered “affordable housing.”

According to a tax table on the city’s web site, the highest tax rates are downtown and in two separate CID//TDD Districts where the tax rate on prepared food is 12.6%. That means before you even get to figuring the gratuity for your server, you’ve got to pony up 12.6% to the city. With the political promises made to the Two and Three Light developers, the tax on your downtown meal would inch up closer to that 14% cap that would be imposed by Representative Phil Christofanelli’s legislation. Some quick News-Dog math shows that on a $10 lunch purchase in one of the downtown taxing districts, you’re on the hook for close to $14 after the 18-20% gratuity to your server and the additional 14% tax to the city. Think about that for just one minute. That’s almost 35% of the total ticket. While this news-writing pooch understands the need for taxes in funding public safety, parks and bus transit to a certain degree, this latest cash grab has the dog saying enough is enough.

Note to the mayor and his cronies – the citizens of this city aren’t some piggy bank you get to raid every time the need suits you. Kansas City residents are already over-taxed and services are grossly under-delivered, as we so expertly noted a couple weeks ago when a concrete sidewalk corner was poured twice by an army of overpaid, under-worked city crews. The tax and spend train should stop right here.

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