CCS#2/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 572 - This act modifies various provisions regarding municipalities and counties.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MUNICIPALITIES IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY - 67.287
Currently, every municipality located within St. Louis County must provide certain municipal and financial services and reports. This act modifies the list of services that municipalities must offer. The annual audit by a certified public accountant of the municipality's finances that includes a report on internal controls to prevent misuse of funds no longer has to be prepared by a qualified financial consultant. Furthermore, a municipality only has to have an accredited police department by 2021 if the municipality has a police department or contracts with another police department for public safety services. Currently, each municipality also must have its construction code reviewed by 2018. However under the act, a municipality is not required to adopt an updated construction code.
This provision is similar to HB 2658 (2016).
NUISANCE ABATEMENT ORDINANCES - 67.398, 67.451
Currently, certain cities and counties may enact an ordinance to provide for the abatement of nuisances, and the ordinance may provide that if the nuisance is not removed or abated then the building commissioner or designated officer may remove or abate the nuisance. This act provides that the ordinance must require that a written notice be provided to the property owner which describes the condition of the lot, what action will remedy the nuisance, and provides not less than ten days to abate or commence removal of each condition identified in the notice. If the property owner does not occupy the property, then the notice shall be given to any occupant. Any city may recover the costs for enforcing the nuisance abatement ordinance by including the fines in the annual real estate tax bill for the property, rather than issue a special tax bill against the property. Any costs and fines not paid by December 31st of that year will be considered delinquent.
LIABILITY FOR DEBTS OF A MUNICIPALITY - 71.980
This act also specifies that the state is not liable for the debts of a municipality that is financially insolvent.
This provision is identical to SB 956 (2016).
DISINCORPORATION PROCEDURES - 77.700, 77.703, 77.706, 77.709, 77.712, 77.715, 79.490, 80.570, 82.133, 82.136, 82.139, 82.142, 82.145, 82.148
The act establishes disincorporation procedures for third class cities, charter cities, and home rule cities. Upon receiving a petition signed by 25% percent of the voters of the city, the county governing body shall order an election upon the question of disincorporation of the city. The county governing body shall disincorporate the city upon an affirmative vote of a majority of those voting. Whenever the county governing body dissolves a city then the county governing body shall appoint a person to act as trustee for the corporation who shall take an oath and give bond with sufficient security. The trustee shall have certain powers as designated in the act, such as the power to prosecute and defend the corporation in a law suit, collect money due, and sell property.
The act decreased the number of signatures required on a petition to disincorporate a fourth class city or a town or village from 50% to 25% of voters, and further decreases the voter approval percentage for disincorporation from 60% of those voting to a majority.
These provisions are similar to HB 1686 (2016), HCS/HB 1632 (2016), and HB 741 (2015).
MUNICIPAL JUDGES - 479.020
The act prohibits a municipal judge from serving on more than five municipal courts.
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 663 (2016).
MUNICIPAL COURTS - 479.350, 479.353, 479.359, 479.360, 479.368
The act changes the definition of court costs to exclude any certified costs, and to include fines added to the annual real estate tax bill or a special tax bill of a property owner for the cost of nuisance abatement and removal. The definition of minor traffic violation is modified to include traffic ordinance violations for which no points are assessed to a driver's driving record and amended charges for any minor traffic violation and adds a definition for municipal ordinance violations.
The maximum allowable fine for minor traffic violations has been lowered from three hundred dollars to two hundred twenty-five dollars. For municipal ordinance violations committed within a twelve month period beginning with the first violation: the maximum allowable fine is two hundred dollars for the first offense, two hundred seventy-five dollars for the second offense, three hundred fifty dollars for the third offense, and four hundred fifty dollars for the fourth and subsequent offenses. No court costs shall be charged to defendants found to be indigent. Municipal courts are also required to not charge defendants for costs associated with community service alternatives.
Municipal ordinance violations and amended charges for municipal ordinance violations are added to the calculation limiting the percentage of annual general operating revenue that can come from fines and court costs for minor violations and to provisions regarding fines, imprisonment, and court costs in municipal court cases. Municipal ordinance violations are also added to municipal disincorporation provisions if a municipality fails to remit excess annual general operating revenue to the Department of Revenue for the county school fund and the disincorporation threshold has been lowered from sixty percent to a majority of participating voters.