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Rex Sinquefield's Crusade Against Income Taxes

Bypassing politicians, financier Rex Sinquefield takes his case to voters
Rex Sinquefield
Rex SinquefieldPhotograph by TJ Proechel

Rex Sinquefield likes to write big checks. In 2010 he spent $11.3 million to bankroll a successful ballot initiative banning new local income taxes in Missouri. Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure. That was just a warm-up for a much bigger effort this year: repealing Missouri’s state income tax.

A retired financial industry executive—he helped devise the first Standard & Poor’s index funds in 1973 and co-founded the asset management firm Dimensional Fund Advisors—Sinquefield explains his free-market vision in the parlor of his century-old St. Louis mansion. Income taxes “punish work,” stymie growth, and are “a horrible way to raise money,” he says. Sinquefield, who won’t divulge his net worth, is convinced that if he succeeds in repealing Missouri’s income tax, “other states will follow. I know they will.”