Steelman fields another question of interest over at the Post-Dispatch:
Brian R.: Urban decay and poverty is a problem that has been ignored in Missouri for far too long. As governor, what will you do to stimulate positive economic activity and lift people out of homelesness and poverty in North St. Louis and Kansas City? Additionally, how do you plan to address rural poverty?
Sarah Steelman: That is a very good question. I believe that any economy, including local economies, have to be allowed to grow themselves. One of the main problems in both Kansas City and St. Louis is the earnings tax. This 1% tax is levied nowhere else in Missouri. In St. Louis, you need look no further than the hole next to Busch Stadium to know that the status quo is not working. In addition, no major corporate headquarters has moved to downtown St. Louis in 50 years. The state should support economic growth in our cities.
She is just on fire this afternoon, isn’t she? The earnings tax is a terrible idea, and should be eliminated in both Kansas City and St. Louis. As Steelman notes, the earnings tax deters businesses, as well as people, from moving into affected areas. If tax revenue is needed, there are much less distortionary means to raise it, such as through a tax on sales or on the value of land.