Cities in St. Louis County sue to challenge municipal revenue law

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A dozen municipalities in St. Louis County have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a municipal court reform bill passed this year that limits the amount of revenue cities can generate from traffic fines.

The bill in question, which was arguably the most significant legislative action taken in response to last year’s unrest in Ferguson, lowered the amount of a city’s annual budget that can come from traffic fines to 12.5 percent in St. Louis County and 20 percent in the rest of the state. Previously, the limit under the so-called Macks Creek law was 30 percent.

The lawsuit contends that the disparity between St. Louis County and the rest of the state makes the measure an unconstitutional “special law.”

The cities filing the suit are Normandy, Cool Valley, Velda Village Hills, Glen Echo Park, Bel Ridge, Bel-Nor, Pagedale, Moline Acres, Uplands Park, Vinita Park, Northwoods and Wellston.

Some of the cities, like Northwoods and Cool Valley, have been forced to consider cutting services because of the effects of the new law.

Read more from St. Louis Public Radio and Missourinet


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