Asked Questions

What is the
earnings tax?

The earnings tax (“e-tax”) is a 1% tax on income earned by residents of Kansas City and nonresidents who work within the city limits. That revenue is used to fund city services enjoyed by every resident of Kansas City, including first responders (firefighters, paramedics/EMTs, and police officers), trash pickup, road maintenance and pothole repair, and snow removal. Historically, about half the revenue generated by the e-tax is paid by people who live OUTSIDE Kansas City.

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Because it is a tax on income,
retired residents, retired citizens, military personnel, or those who
are not working do not pay the
e-tax. Social Security, disability,
and unemployment income are
not subject to the earnings tax.

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Will voting ‘yes’
raise my taxes?

No. The earnings tax has been in place in Kansas City since 1963. A ‘yes’ vote will renew the tax at its current rate, without raising taxes for anyone.
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What benefits does the earnings tax have for me?

The e-tax funds critical city services, including first responders (firefighters, paramedics/EMTs, and police officers), trash pickup, anti-illegal dumping efforts, road maintenance and pothole repair, snow removal, and more, without higher sales or property taxes. Kansas City has made significant investments in improving city services, especially in public safety and road repair, that have been made possible because of the earnings tax. Every resident of Kansas City benefits from these services, and from the lower property and sales tax rates that the e-tax makes possible.

Why is the earnings tax being put up for a vote?

Missouri law requires that the e-tax be put up for a renewal vote every five years. This year, the economic uncertainty of COVID-19 make it especially important that the e-tax be protected. The e-tax has been in place since it was first approved by Kansas City voters in 1963.

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Can we fund these
services with other
funding sources?

No. Failed renewal of the e-tax would result in cuts to city services, including first responders, trash pickup, road maintenance, snow removal, parks, increased emergency response times, and more. Replacing the revenue generated by the e-tax would require significant increases in sales and/or property taxes, affecting every person in Kansas City, and even those increases would not replace the funding we would lose without the e-tax.

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How can
I help?

Community support across Kansas City is vitally important in this local election, where every vote counts. You can become an endorser at this link, and volunteer to take many actions to support the renewal of the earnings tax, including writing or signing letters to the editor, contacting your friends, and amplifying our message on social media.