SB 0199 Modifies the classification of counties, and various other provisions related to counties and county government
LR Number:0432L.08T Fiscal Note:0432-08
Committee:Economic Development, Tourism & Local Government
Last Action:09/11/03 S defeats motion to override Governor's veto (Childers) Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2003
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Current Bill Summary

CCS/HS/HCS/SCS/SB 199 - This act modifies the classification of counties. The assessed valuation necessary to qualify as a first class county is increased from the current $450 million to $600 million. The assessed valuation necessary to qualify as a second class county is increased from the current $300 million to $450 million. No county will move to a lower classification than its current classification as a result of the changes in the assessed valuation requirement, however, such a county may move to a lower classification after five years at a level below the requisite amount for the counties current classification.

The act modifies Section 48.030, RSMo, to allow any county that has the requisite assessed valuation to become a first class county to choose to do so upon an affirmative vote of the counties governing body, even though the county has not had such valuation for five successive years as required under current law.

The act authorizes the Boone County Counselor to prosecute certain misdemeanors in order to seek a civil fine of not more than $250 per violation. Fines collected pursuant to this act shall be paid into the county general fund to be used to pay for the cost of enforcement of such offences.

The act authorities the county commission to create a "county crime reduction fund". Further, the act sets the board of trustees who shall supervise the fund, sets what the money in fund may be used for, prohibits the county.

The act authorizes county treasurers in counties of the third and fourth classification to issue payroll checks before the filing of the county budget estimates.

The act authorizes a county counselor to prosecute cases brought pursuant to Section 49.272, RSMo, where a civil fine may be imposed, rather than the prosecuting attorney. Further in counties of the first classification a county counselor may by agreement with the prosecuting attorney prosecute or defend any civil action the other officer is authorized by law to act upon.

The act authorizes any county subject to Environmental Protection Agency rules concerning storm water discharge to adopt ordinances that are necessary to comply with federal regulations. These counties may, upon voter approval, impose a storm water utility tax in an amount necessary to fund public storm water control projects.

The act authorizes St. Louis County to impose, by ordinance, a quarterly fee of $200 on owners of residential property or commercial housing property if that property is vacant, has been vacant for six months, and is in violation of the housing code. A municipal officer must make the initial determination, and the owner may appeal or improve the property within 30 days. If improved, the owner may ask for reinspection. If the fee is still imposed, the owner may still appeal. Delinquent fees become a lien upon the property. Currently, only municipalities may impose the fee.

The act authorizes the City of St. Louis all counties to impose, upon voter approval, a sales tax of up to 0.025% for community services for children up to the age 19. Current law allows St. Charles, St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, Warren, and Lincoln counties to enact this sales tax. The moneys collected from the tax will be deposited into the county's community children's fund and administered by the board of directors.

The act creates the Exhibition Center and Recreation Facility District Act. It enables citizens of Boone, Buchanan, Camden, Jasper, Jefferson, Miller, Morgan, and Newton counties to petition to create an exhibition center and recreation facility district. At least 50 property owners in a county must sign the petition. Once the petition is filed, the governing body may approve a resolution to create the district. Following a public hearing, the governing body may adopt an order establishing the proposed district. A board of trustees will administer any district created. The governing body of each county within the district will appoint four residents from the portion of the county within the district to serve on the board. The board will have the power to enter into contracts or other agreements affecting the affairs of the district, to borrow money, to issue bonds, to acquire and dispose of real and personal property, to refund bonds without an election, to manage the affairs of the district, to hire agents, and to amend and adopt bylaws. The district may submit to its voters a sales tax of up to 0.5%. The tax will be reduced automatically to a rate of 0.1% after 25 years unless an extension is voted upon by the voters in the district.

The act allows Shannon County to impose a surcharge on the sale of each ticket or other charge allowing admission to or participation in any private tourist attraction or on the daily rental of rooms or accommodations paid by transient guests at a rate not to exceed five percent of such admission or amount.

The act Authorizes the Department of Economic Development to designate an area within Jackson County as a satellite zone. The governing body of the county must submit a plan describing how the zone corresponds to the county's overall enterprise zone strategy. The Department of Economic Development is also required to designate an enterprise zone in Laclede County. The zones must be approved by the Director of Department of Economic Development and meet all statutory requirements.

The act clarifies that a municipality in Christian County may continue to operate an emergency telephone service in the event the county also establishes a service or has been reclassified into a higher classification.

The act authorizes counties of the second, third, or fourth classification to set by ordinance countywide speed limits on roads within the county which are maintained by the county.

The act establishes requirements for a candidate for the office of public administrator. The candidate must be 21 years of age, be a resident of the county for at least one year, be a registered voter, and be current in the payment of all personal and business taxes.

In addition to amounts authorized prior to August 28, 2004, this act authorizes the Board of Fund Commissioners to issue bonds for grants and loans pursuant to several sections of Article III of the Missouri Constitution. The authorizations are for:

(1) $10 million of bonds for waste water pollution control, drinking water system improvements, and storm water control pursuant to Section 37(e);

(2) $10 million of bonds for rural water and sewer projects pursuant to Section 37(g); and

(3) $20 million of bonds for storm water control plans, studies, and projects in first classification counties and the City of St. Louis pursuant to Section 37(h).