CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) – Officials of two St. Louis County municipalities say a new state law that caps revenue from traffic tickets played a role in their decision to switch from village to city status.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1Sd5r7T ) reports voters approved the status changes last week for Velda Village Hills and Bel-Ridge. Officials say the legal authority of cities to impose a wider array of taxes and business fees provides more flexibility if ticket revenue drops significantly.
Under the law going into effect in January, minor traffic tickets can only provide 12.5 percent of a St. Louis County municipality’s general operating revenue. The law was passed to address predatory revenue-generating concerns raised in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, by a white Ferguson police officer.
Deputy director of the St. Louis County Municipal League Steve Ables says the two villages would be able to impose a tax on more utilities.