Missouri State Senate

House Committee Substitute

HCS/SB 485 - Modifies laws relating to elections, campaign finance and voter approved taxation.

County assessors shall have resided in the county in which they are elected or appointed for 6 months prior to the election or appointment.

Currently, the county commission of third and fourth class counties may appoint a county land surveyor following a general election in which the office of surveyor is on the ballot if no candidate seeks the office. Under this act, such commissions may appoint a county land surveyor following the deadline for filing for the office if no candidate files for the office provided that the election authority publishes the required notice of the date for filing for the office in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county.

Certain third class cities are allowed to eliminate primary elections for mayor and councilman by ordinance. The requirements to be adopted in the ordinance relating to filing for candidacy and printing of ballots are included in the act.

The act repeals a provision allowing the Ethics Commission to file a petition in the circuit court of Cole County to request additional time for completing investigations.

The Secretary of State shall establish a program to allow overseas voters to receive and cast a ballot using the Internet.

Currently, candidates for special district, city, town, and village offices and township offices in township organization counties are exempt from the provisions of Section 115.342 that disqualify candidates from running for office when they are delinquent in the payment of any state income taxes, personal property taxes, or real property taxes. This amendment removes the exemption for those offices.

Candidates shall not qualify for public office when they have been found guilty of or pled guilty to any crime in any other jurisdiction that involves misconduct in public office or would constitute a felony in Missouri. Federal felons are also disqualified.

Candidates who tie in the number of votes cast for an office have the right to a recount.

Using an electronic recording device to record, photograph, copy, or transmit the content of a voted ballot to those not designated to receive such information shall constitute a class 3 election offense.

Currently, treasurers and deputy treasurers of all committees shall reside in the district or county in which the committee sits. This amendment only applies that requirement to political party committee treasurers and deputy treasurers.

The Ethics Commission is required to redact the bank account number contained on a committee's statement of organization before it makes the statement public.

The act modifies laws regarding property taxation by requiring tax rate rollbacks by school districts in reassessment years. For tax year 2009, political subdivisions are authorized to levy a property tax rate sufficient to generate as much revenue as was produced in the 2007 tax year excluding new construction and improvements as long as such rate does not exceed the greater of the rate in effect for the 1984 tax year or the most recent voter approved rate. Under current law, if a political subdivision experiences a decrease in assessed value, such political subdivision may roll-up its tax rate to the most recent voter-approved rate in order to receive the same amount of revenue as was received in the previous year. This act would allow a political subdivision which experiences a decrease in assessed value to roll-up its tax rate to the greater of the most recent voter-approved rate or the highest rate in effect since the 1984 tax year in order to collect the same amount of tax revenue from the previous year. If such political subdivision is a school district which experiences a decrease in assessed value, such school district will be allowed to roll-up it tax rate, provided such rate does not exceed the highest tax rate in effect since the 1980 tax year.

The act requires the governing body of any taxing authority to submit a proposal to the voters to lower tax rates at the next regular election upon the submission of a petition signed by at least 33% of the registered voters within the taxing authority's boundaries. If at least 66% of the votes are in favor, the lowered tax rate shall become effective. If more than 33% oppose the decrease, the rate shall not change. The required forms and content of the petition and the ballot language are included in the act.

The fractional requirement for passing tax measures by popular vote is satisfied when the vote percentage is greater than or equal to a 4 decimal percentage equivalent of the fraction with the last decimal in the ten thousandths position increased by adding 1.

This act contains an emergency clause.

This act is similar to HB 228 (2009), SB 253 (2009), HB 1039 (2009), HB 739 (2009), HB 613 (2009), HB 427 (2009), SB 14 (2009), HB 997 (2009), SB 165 (2009), and HB 421 (2009).