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New legislation of municipal interest

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

The General Assembly passed several bills that impact Missouri municipalities in the recently ended legislative session, including the following:

Municipal Taxation or Licensing of UBER/LYFT (HB 130): Creates a state-wide license for Transportation Network Companies (“TNCs”)—such as UBER or LYFT—for an annual fee of $5,000. This bill also prohibits municipalities from imposing a tax on or requiring a license from TNCs, TNC drivers, or vehicles used by a TNC driver where the tax or license relates to providing prearranged rides.

Traffic Citations and Municipal Judges (SB 128): Requires that citations or summonses for minor traffic violations include the date and time the defendant must appear in court. Failure to provide this information when the citation is issued will void the citation. Also, regarding the limitation that a municipal judge cannot serve in more than 5 municipalities at one time, “[a] court that serves more than one municipality shall be treated as a single municipality.”

Population Law “Fix” (HB 451): Provides that once a city has come under operation of a law based on population, a change in population shall not remove the political subdivision from the operation of that law, “regardless of whether the [political subdivision] comes under the operation of the law after the law was passed.” This bill was passed in the wake of the 2016 Missouri American Water Company case in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, which held that St. Louis County no longer met the requirements of statutes affecting counties with “more than one million inhabitants.”

Minimum Wage (HB 1193 & 1194): Prohibits political subdivisions from requiring a minimum wage that exceeds the requirements of state law.

Requirements for Holding Elective Office and Bond Procedure Revisions (SB 111): This act allows persons who have pled or been found guilty of a federal misdemeanor to run for elective public office. Persons who have pled guilty or been found guilty of a federal felony are still barred from holding office.

SB 111 also amends procedures for bond issuance including as follows:

  • Political subdivisions with an unenhanced bond rating of AA+ or higher must issue debts through a competitive process unless they employ a municipal advisor. If a municipal advisor is employed, a negotiated or competitive process may be used. This requirement does not apply when:

o the bonds are sold to a government entity;

o the principal amount of the bonds does not exceed

$12,500,000; or

o to bonds issued for refinance.

  • A municipal advisor cannot profit financially or otherwise, directly or indirectly, from the underwriter of a negotiated bond issuance.

Public Safety Sales Tax and Annual Report Compliance (SB 112): This bill, among other things:

  • Allows a sheriff, marshal, clerk or collector, or the deputy of any such officer to run for treasurer of any county.

  • Allows additional fourth class cities with certain populations to impose a 0.5% sales tax for public safety purposes with voter approval.

  • Provides that all political subdivisions failing to submit an annual financial statement to the DOR shall be fined $500 per day beginning on the 31st day after they receive notice of non-compliance.

This provision previously only imposed such fine on TDDs.

Labor Agreements (SB 182): Prohibits political subdivisions from requiring, or prohibiting, bidders from entering into agreements with labor organizations when entering into contracts for the construction, repair, remodeling, or demolition of a facility. Discrimination against, or giving preferential treatment to, such bidders is also prohibited. An entity that violates these provisions is not eligible for state funding, including tax credits, for two years.

Lease of Real Property to Public Entities (HB 292): Allows banks or trust companies to lease property to a public entity if it has the resources to satisfy all rental payments as they become due, and the public entity will become the owner of the real property when the lease expires.

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