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Readers: Remove Payroll Tax Exemption From Not-For-Profit Employers With More Than 20 Employees

June 14, 2017 Featured, Taxes No Comments
Saint Louis University is among those currently excerpt

Employers in the city pay a one-half of one percent payroll tax, but many have been exempted from this requirement. Ald Conway wants to end the exemptions for those with 21 or more employees:

BOARD BILL NO. 58 INTRODUCED BY ALDERMAN STEPHEN CONWAY An ordinance pertaining to the payroll expense tax, repealing, subject to voter approval, those exemptions from the tax in section nine of ordinance 60737 for religious and charitable organizations and institutions, not-for-profit civic, social, service or fraternal organizations, not-for-profit hospitals and not-for-profit educational institutions that employ more than twenty (20) employees; submitting to the qualified voters the question whether the exemptions to the payroll expense tax for religious and charitable organizations and institutions, not-for-profit civic, social, service or fraternal organizations, not-for-profit hospitals, and not-for profit educational institutions that employ more than twenty (20) employees shall be repealed and a payroll expense tax of one-half of one percent (0.5%) imposed; providing for the conducting of an election on such a question; providing, upon voters’ approval of such repeal of the exemptions, for the effective date for imposition of the payroll expense tax upon religious and charitable organizations and institutions, not-for-profit civic, social, service or fraternal organizations, not-for-profit hospitals, and not-for-profit educational institutions that employ more than twenty (20) employees; with an emergency clause.

If you look at the language in Board Bill 58 you’ll see it doesn’t mention any by name, just “religious and charitable organizations and institutions, not-for-profit civic, social, service or fraternal organizations, not-for-profit hospitals, and not-for profit educational institutions ” I’ve never been a fan of Ald Conway, but I agree with him on removing exemptions.

I’m not sure how 20 employees become his threshold. Why not 15 or 25? No threshold at all? Hopefully this will be discussed in the committee hearing on the bill. Ald Conway just happens to be Chair of the Ways & Means Committee. The committee meets at 9am this morning, but #58 isn’t listed on the event page.  Either it isn’t being considered or the website is out of space to list additional bills.

Committee members are:

  • Stephen Conway, Chair
  • Pam Boyd
  • John Collins-Muhammad
  • Marlene E Davis
  • Carol Howard
  • Samuel L Moore
  • Beth Murphy
  • Joseph Vaccaro

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll a majority of readers agreed these should no longer be exempt:

Q:  Agree or disagree: Large not-for-profit employers should remain exempt from a St. Louis payroll tax.

  • Strongly agree 5 [16.67%]
  • Agree 1 [3.33%]
  • Somewhat agree 4 [13.33%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [3.33%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [10%]
  • Disagree 8 [26.67%]
  • Strongly disagree 8 [26.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

If the Board of Aldermen approves this bill citizens would vote on removing the exemption. Just because a majority here favored removing the exemption doesn’t mean voters would do the same.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

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