Joseph Miller

On Thursday, the governor signed Senate Bill 5 into law, reducing the extent to which municipalities can rely on fines and fees to fund themselves. The bill would:

…within two years, bring down the total amount of general revenue a city could receive from fines and fees to 10 percent, excluding smaller cities outside of populous counties like Saint Louis. The bill makes it clear that any amended traffic fines would count toward that percentage. Furthermore, fines collected on Missouri interstates in excess of 5 percent of general revenue would also not be able to be collected by municipalities. As for enforcement, the bill makes it clear that municipalities have to provide an annual addendum to the state auditor regarding its compliance with the measure. Failure to comply triggers a vote for municipal disincorporation…

As we’ve argued before, these measures will disincentivize the use of local police and courts as tax collection agencies. They will also encourage limited government and inter-city service coordination. That’s good news for Saint Louis County and the state as whole. 

About the Author

Joseph Miller
Policy Analyst
Joseph Miller was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute. He focused on infrastructure, transportation, and municipal issues. He grew up in Itasca, Ill., and earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree from the University of California-San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.