Payroll Tax Changes in the City of St. Louis

NSC recently sent the following message to our full contact list encouraging them to let St. Louis Board of Aldermen know their thoughts on proposed changes to the city tax code:

There’s Still Time to Contact your Alderman

About Board Bill 58

A proposed plan to remove exemptions of nonprofits located in the City of St. Louis from a 0.5% payroll tax continued debate in the Board of Aldermen’s Ways and Means Committee last week. The committee amended the bill, called Board Bill 58, to tax only nonprofits that have 50 or more employees (the previous threshold for losing exemption was for organizations with 20 or more employees). A vote is expected this week and, if approved, the bill will move on to a vote from the full Board of Aldermen.

 

NSC urges all our nonprofit partners to share the below information with their boards, volunteers, donors, and staff. Please ask your stakeholders to contact the Mayor’s office and anyone on the Board of Alderman they might know ASAP. The list of Aldermanic wards and contact information can be found here.

 

WHAT IS BOARD BILL 58?

St. Louis Alderman Stephen Conway is proposing that the City of St. Louis repeal the payroll tax exemption for all nonprofits with more than 50 employees, full-time or part-time. This would result in a 0.5% increase in payroll taxes.

 

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE?

The bill is being debated and likely voted on by the Ways and Means Committee this week. If passed, the full Board of Aldermen will vote on whether to put it before voters on a possible special election ballot in November.

 

WHAT IS THE REASONING BEHIND THE BILL?

Conway’s position is that the increased revenue from 0.5% payroll tax imposed on nonprofits will help increase the number of St. Louis City police officers and their compensation.

 

OUR POSITION (can be pasted into emails to City leadership)

We greatly appreciate that the Board of Aldermen is seeking ways to increase the safety and welfare of its citizens. We understand the urgency of these concerns.

 

However, we respectfully urge the Board of Aldermen to vote NO on Board Bill 58.

 

An improved police presence in the City of St. Louis would be a benefit to all, but altering the City’s tax code to repeal a payroll tax exemption on nonprofits would result in the following outcomes:

  • The financial impact on nonprofits will encourage them to seriously consider options to move elsewhere, negating the anticipated revenue increase for the City of St. Louis.
  • Most of the populations served by the nonprofits in the City are those who need the services most. The genuine possibility of loss of these services could have the reverse effect of increasing crime and the need for police services.

 

We thank you for your consideration of these important issues.