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Judge throws out most of St. Louis earnings tax lawsuit

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has thrown out most of a lawsuit that seeks refunds of St. Louis city earnings tax payments for people who began working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic starting in early 2020.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Christopher McGraugh’s ruling on Monday was a victory for the city. The 1% earnings charged to city residents and nonresidents who work in the city generated about $180 million in 2020.

Attorneys Mark Milton and Bevis Schock filed suit in March, alleging the city collector’s office, worried over the millions in revenue at stake because of the pandemic, stopped its past practice of paying refunds to people who worked remotely.

McGraugh’s order mostly sided with the collector’s argument that state statute has a remedy for taxpayers to protest taxes and file for refunds. The judge said that remedy didn’t allow for class-action status.

Milton said he planned to appeal.

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