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In Neuner, et al. v. City of St. Louis, ED 105125 (Mo. App. E.D. Sept. 19, 2017), the Missouri Court of Appeals recently rejected a taxpayer challenge to the City of St. Louis’s payroll tax. The tax requires employers in the City to pay one half of one percent of the compensation earned by their employees. The court rejected the argument that the tax was unauthorized, recognizing that the City’s charter authorized the tax and Article VI, Section 19(a) of the Missouri Constitution grants charter cities all of the powers that the General Assembly “could” grant to a city. The court also rejected a challenge to Cooperative Agreements the City made with certain businesses who agreed to improve and redevelop substandard buildings and areas in the City, in exchange for reimbursement of those projects costs in an amount up to 50% of the increased payroll tax from the project areas. Those Cooperative Agreements helped ensure that those businesses would stay in the City and help revitalize it, and not move to a different location. The court held that such agreements served a public purpose, specifically citing the Board of Aldermen’s findings that stated redevelopment of the “substandard” areas would improve employment and stimulate the economy. A public purpose is not “deprived of its public character,” simply because it also benefits private individuals.

Based on your input and recent municipal developments, the 2018 tentative Academy seminar topic schedule has been established as follows:

January 25 - Intergovernmental Cooperation

February 22 - Planning and Zoning/BZA

March 22 - TBA

May 24 - Sovereign Immunity

June 28 - Legislative Update

August 23 - Employment Law

September 27 - First Amendment

October 25 - Economic Development/Public Fund Investment

November 29 - Public Works

Given the continued success and participation level for the Academy over the last five years, the Academy is pleased to announce the second reduction in tuition rates due to the greatly appreciated volunteer efforts of our instructors, the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, and Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, P.C. Additionally, we want to thank all of our tuition members for their support and input as last year we saw the greatest increase in tuition membership with 54 cities participating as tuition members, and over 200 municipalities participating and attending last year. Since 2012, more than 600 public officials, officers and employee have now received free or low cost educational training through the Academy!

With the tuition membership, all city officials and employees can reap the benefits of all presentations for the 2018 year. Also, all city officials and employees will have access to past presentations as well. The reduced 2018 tuition rates are as follows:

  • Cities with 25 or less employees -- $50* single payment for the year (for all employees/all year)

  • Cities between 26 and 100 employees -- $100 single payment for the year (for all employees/all year)

  • Cities with more than 100 employees -- $200 single payment for the year (for all employees/all year)

*Any city financially unable to allocate this amount may apply for and may qualify for a need-based tuition waiver.

The Academy will continue to allow one-time attendance to presentations at the rate of $20 per session per person. However, we urge your municipality to consider the tuition option, rather than register for each individual session, to assist the Academy in reducing administrative costs. The volunteer services of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, P.C., and all of the speakers and administrative support are provided because they, like you, are committed to the important non-profit role of public service and want it to be as professional, knowledgeable, and effective as possible. Please take this opportunity to support the Academy by moving your community to an annual tuition membership to continue its reach, success, and value.

Please contact Steve Ables at to sign up for the 2018 tuition rate. Please make all tuition payments by February 12, 2018. If you have any other questions or concerns, please direct them to Lyndee Rodamaker at

Illinois SB 1947, a bill on the funding of Illinois’ public schools, included a provision that created a bi-partisan Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force. This Task Force will be made up of twelve members, three from each caucus in the Illinois General Assembly. The Task Force’s stated purpose is to study “current Tax Increment Financing (TIF) laws in [Illinois] and issues that include, but are not limited to:

  1. The benefits and costs of TIF districts;

  2. The interaction between TIF law and school funding;

  3. The expenditure of TIF funds; and

  4. The expenditure of TIF surplus funds.

The Task Force is to issue its report to the General Assembly on or before April 1, 2018. Other municipal groups, including the Illinois Municipal League, have expressed concern about possible appointments and what findings the Task Force could reach. CVR will be monitoring any findings this Task Force issues. Illinois municipalities may want to do the same. For more information, feel free to contact Joe Bond at