Newsletter Issue: August 2016

Download the August 2016 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

New Officers Installed, Muni Awards Presented

At the annual Muni Awards and Installation, Mayor Barry Glantz of Creve Coeur took the oath of office and will serve as League President for 2016-17.  Joining him on the stage that evening to be installed were new and re-elected board members Councilman Chuck Caverly, Maryland Heights, Vice President, Mayor Norm McCourt, Black Jack Finance Chairman, Alderman Errol Bush, Northwoods, Mayor Edward Mahan, Rock Hill, and Mayor Ruth Springer, Olivette.

The categories and Muni award winners were:

Art & Culture – Creve Coeur

Citizen Engagement – Bellerive Acres

Collaboration – Municipal Partners for Inclusive Recreation comprised of the Cities of Ballwin, Brentwood, Crestwood, Des Peres, Ellisville, Kirkwood, Manchester, and Sunset Hills

Parks & Recreation – Pasadena Hills

Public Safety – Bellefontaine Neighbors

Sustainability & Preservation – Shrewsbury

Buzz Westfall Award for Excellence in Local Government – Retired Kirkwood Mayor Art McDonnell

We would also like to thank our emcee for the evening – Shawndrea Thomas from Channel 2.

 

Governor Signs Municipal Legislation

Following the 2016 legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon signed several bills that will impact local governments.   They include:

HB 2140 (Hoskins) – This legislation extends for two years (2018), the collection of local sales taxes on motor vehicles purchased from non-Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers (out of state sales and person to person sales). The bill also extends the election deadline to continue the tax to November of 2018.  Supported by the League.

HB 1561 (Leara) – This bill changes the St. Louis County sales tax to establish a base year of 2014 for the  one cent sales tax and if future years are higher, pool cities would keep 50% of the amount generated over the base year generated amount.  A County Public Safety sales tax for the unincorporated area was deleted from the bill.

HB 1434 & 1600 (Koenig) – If the countywide TIF commission in St.  Louis area rejects a proposal but the city approves it, economic activity taxes and payments in lieu of taxes cannot exceed the redevelopment project costs for demolition of buildings and the clearing and grading of land.  The bill also requires annual TIF reports to be filed by November 15 of each year with the Department of Revenue (previously reports were to be filed with the Department of Economic Development).  DOR is to notify cities which have not filed and if the report is not submitted within 60, the city is banned from using TIF for 5 years.  Opposed by the League

SB 572 (Schmitt) – The bill adds all ordinance violations to the calculation limiting the percentage of annual general operating revenue that can come from fines and court costs for minor violations. These violations are also added to the disincorporation language if a municipality fails to remit excess annual general operating revenue to the Department of Revenue for the county school fund.  The bill also establishes a disincorporation procedure for all classes of municipalities requiring 25% of registered voters to place the issue on the ballot and a majority vote to disincorporate.  It sets fines for first time and repeat ordinance violations.  The bill does not change the 12.5% of revenue for court violations in St. Louis County, or the provisions for local government service standards even though these provisions were invalidated by the circuit court.  Opposed by the League.

We were successful in defeating some detrimental or costly issues due to the many contacts made by our members with their legislators.  These include:  limiting municipal authority to join class action suits for collection of taxes; increased police training hours; 48 hour posting of public meetings; and limiting municipal authority over home rentals such as Air B&B.

 

League Files Suit on SB 5 Reporting Procedures

On July 25 the League filed suit in St. Louis County Circuit Court on behalf of its members challenging the State Auditor’s rule regarding “Macks Creek” (SB 5) reports.  The statute mandates that the Auditor’s reporting rule include an alternative and simpler method for cities that are not near the applicable revenue limits. The Auditor failed to allow for any alternative other than strict compliance with the formula, which requires unnecessary detailed tracking of court case revenues for many cities.

Separate litigation regarding these reports required by SB5 remains pending in the Missouri Supreme Court but does not specifically address the Auditor’s rule or the issue of alternative reporting methods. Further, depending on the outcome of that litigation, the rule will need to be amended to address changes imposed by SB 572. By this suit against the Auditor rule, the League is working to make sure that at the end of the process cities will have easier compliance options as mandated by the statute.

 

Election Results Support Local Governments

The August election results show that citizens continue to support their local governments by approving or maintaining local taxes and fees that are vital to the provision of quality municipal services.  Out-of- state auto sales taxes were approved in Greendale, Rock Hill, Velda City and Velda Village Hills.  Including the recent November and April elections, 44 of the 45 municipalities to place this question on the ballot have received voter approval.

Voters in Bel-Nor and Ferguson supported increases in local utility taxes.

Glendale residents approved a sales tax and bond issue to help the City upgrade its fire station.

A parks and stormwater sales tax was passed in Velda Village Hills.

Bellefontaine Neighbors voters approved an $8 million bond issue for streets.

While not every proposition passed, Hillsdale and Pasadena Hills were unsuccessful, residents have shown for the most part that local governments matter and are worth preserving.  The efforts of our members to inform and educate voters about these proposals is the key to success.

The League maintains spreadsheets with all of the municipal sales, utility and property tax rates.  Contact our office for more information.

 

League & SLACMA Sponsor Golf League

The League and the St. Louis Area City Management Association (SLACMA) are continuing a new traveling social golf league.  The golf league will play 3 more municipal golf courses.  This is an individual player league with stableford score format.  It is open to elected officials, city managers, city staff and associate members of the County League and SLACMA.  The cost is $20 per round.  The league will pay on the 3rd Thursday at 3:00.  The first round is set for the University City course on August 18.  To register contact the Municipal League office at 314-726-4747 or the following link.