Senator Joseph Keaveny Speaks Against Senate Bill 575

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JEFFERSON CITY — Senate Minority Floor Leader Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, engaged in floor debate in regards to Senate Bill 575, legislation that would eliminate the earnings tax in St. Louis. The voter-approved tax funds most of the City of St. Louis’ operating budget.

“It is bothersome to me when the Legislature seeks to overrule the will of the voters,” Sen. Keaveny said. “Just last week 72 percent of the voters in the City of St. Louis voted to continue the 1 percent earnings tax.”

The tax, which was established more than 50 years ago, is the single largest source of revenue for the city. It accounts for $164 million, or nearly 33 percent of the annual general fund budget.  The City of St. Louis remedied the constitutional problem of double taxation through an administrative rule so there is no need for a legislative fix.

“Senate Bill 575 is unnecessary legislation. The tax has been voted on and approved by the voters, therefore there is no need for legislative action about an earnings tax,” Sen. Keaveny said. “This legislation is sponsored by a lawmaker who resides hundreds of miles away from St. Louis. He and his constituents are not affected by this legislation at all.”

After the Democratic Caucus vigorously defended the earnings tax, Senate Bill 575 ultimately was placed on the informal calendar.

For more information, visit Sen. Keaveny’s official Senate website at