Can KC fix a hated tax?
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City’s business license tax has few fans.
Businesses want to get rid of the tax, which is an annual charge levied on their gross revenues or imposed as a flat fee. A special City Council committee said eliminating the tax could help small businesses. The Citizens Commission on Municipal Revenue last month said the tax is “widely despised because it is onerous from a filing process and unfair in application.”
So why isn’t the tax dead already? Because it brings in $21 million a year to City Hall.
At a meeting today, revenue commission members will review suggested changes in the business license charge. A flat “head” tax levied for each employee of most businesses is high on the list. That concept is used in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha and other cities.
But some Kansas City companies would pay more with a head tax than they do now, while others would pay less, already making it a divisive idea.
The panel’s bid to propose a new, improved business license tax is worthwhile. It just might be doomed from the start.