ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A judge has denied a lawsuit that sought civil class action status to give those who paid the 1% City of St. Louis earning tax a refund if they worked outside of the city.
Before 2020, refunds were paid to nonresidents who worked outside of St. Louis based on the number of days worked outside of the city. But, the lawsuit claimed, the City and City’s Collector of Revenue refuse to pay refunds to employees forced to work virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The tax is supposed to be pay for services in the city, police roads, water whatever and they weren't using those services when they weren't in the city so they don't owe the money," said attorney Bevis Shock, who filed the lawsuit in March on behalf of several clients who have worked remotely over the past year.
The city's argument for not issuing refunds for remote work is because employees are still utilizing computer services and databases from their St. Louis-based company. The judge denied the lawsuit in early May, stating there is already a way for individuals to get a break in the tax if they don’t work within city limits.
The earnings tax makes up about one-third of the City’s revenue, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit estimated 75% of the earnings tax comes from nonresidents.