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Missouri certifies two ballot initiatives for November elections

By   /   August 3, 2010  /   No Comments

As voters turned out to the polls across Missouri for the primary elections Tuesday, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan certified two ballot initiatives — and rejected two – for the November elections.

The two initiatives that received enough valid signatures to appear on the state-wide ballot include a statutory amendment relating to earnings taxes and a statutory amendment relating to dog breeders.

Earnings tax petition

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets;
  • require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every 5 years thereafter;
  • require any current earnings tax that is not approved by the voters to be phased out over a period of 10 years; and
  • prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget?

If passed, the earnings tax petition could eliminate earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis. Kansas City budgeted earnings tax revenue of $141.2 million for 2010 and St. Louis budgeted $199.2 million.

Reduced earnings tax deductions could increase state revenues by $4.8 million, according to the secretary of state’s office. The total cost or savings to state and local government entities, however, is unknown.

Dog breeders petition

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;
  • prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and
  • create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?

The secretary of state’s office estimates it will cost state governmental entities $654,768 to enforce the amendment. However, some local entities may see savings due to reduced animal care expenses.

Rejected petitions

Two other petitions were not certified for November. The constitutional amendment petitions — one relating to real estate taxation and another to repeal a non-partisan court plan — did not get enough valid signatures.

For a petition seeking to change a Missouri statute, valid signatures from registered voters must equal 5 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts.

The number of signatures needed ranges between 91,818 and 99,600.

For a petition seeking to change the Missouri Constitution, valid signatures must equal 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts.

The number of signatures required ranges between 146,907 and 159,359.

Ballot language and full text for the issues is available on the secretary of state’s website.

By Brian R. Hook, brhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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Brian Hook