SCS/SB 865 – This act allows University of Missouri extension councils to form extension districts made up of cooperating counties for the purpose of funding extension programming. An extension district can be a single-council district or a consolidated district, which would consist of two or more extension councils. A majority vote of each participating council is required to form an extension district.
In a single-council district, the existing University of Missouri extension council will serve as the extension district's governing body. In a consolidated district, the governing board will consist of three to five representatives appointed by each participating council. The powers and authorities granted to a district's governing body are described in the act.
The governing body of a district may submit a question to the voters of the district to institute a property tax levy in the district's counties. A property tax levy cannot exceed thirty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. In a single-county district, the property tax levy will be imposed if a majority of the voters vote in favor of it. In a consolidated district, the property tax levy will be imposed if a majority of the voters in each county in the district approves it. If one county does not approve it, the council in that county may withdraw from the district by a majority vote; upon such withdrawal, the district would be made up of the remaining counties and the tax would be imposed on them. However, if the county that did not approve the tax does not withdraw from the district, then the tax will not be imposed.
A single-council district for which a tax has not been levied may be dissolved in the same manner in which it was formed. A county may withdraw from a consolidated district at any time by filing a petition, as described in the act, with the circuit court having jurisdiction over the council. The court must hear evidence on the petition, and if it determines it is in the best interest of the county inhabitants, it must submit the question to the voters at the next general municipal election. If two-thirds of the voters vote in favor of withdrawing from the district, the court must issue an order withdrawing the county from the district. However, the withdrawal will not become effective until the following January 1 and the district will remain intact for the purposes of paying all outstanding and lawful obligations and to dispose of the district's property.
The governing body of any district may seek voter approval to increase its current tax rate, provided the tax will not exceed thirty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The governing body must submit such a question to the voters at the next general municipal election. In a single-council district, if a majority of the voters in the county approve the question, the tax will be imposed. In a consolidated district, a majority of voters in the district is required.
This act is similar to HB 1895 (2012) and HCS/HB 1254 (2012).