50 Ways to Get Around the Earnings Tax…
The Post has a great article today in the business section on recent successes in luring businesses to locate in downtown St. Louis. Although I type this from Clayton, I love downtown and hope it thrives. I lived there for three years in a loft at 11th and Pine in the late ’90s. Then the whole place started to get trendy and I had to flee, ’cause that’s just how I roll. But anyway, there are two main parts to the article on why businesses are moving downtown. The first is that the convergence of highways, architecturally significant buildings, and being part of a larger business community all give downtown a lift over your suburban office-park. To this I say, hell yes! The buildings are gorgeous, it is easy to get there from anywhere, parking is affordable (except for the meter maids), and downtown is great fun now moreso than ever (or at least the last forty years). Clayton has many of the same qualities, except the architecture, but you don’t find any of those qualities, other than parking, in your standard office park.
The second major thrust of the story states:
"However, low-interest loans, tax abatements and tax credit programs are helping owners mitigate the impact of the income tax."
I felt like Homer Simpson screaming at the TV while reading this, but instead of yelling "It means he gets results you stupid chief!" I was yelling about just getting rid of the damned earnings tax, and you don’t need all the other things to mitigate it! SMI has done a great study on a way to do just that. This is the insanity of modern government. We keep taxes high and then implement hundreds of programs, credits, deductions, earmarks, etc., to allow people and projects to get around the taxes. How can it not be economically more successful to keep tax rates broad and wide, but as low as possible for everyone?