Way of collecting taxes for Jefferson Co road district declared - KMOV.com

Way of collecting taxes for Jefferson Co road district declared illegal

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After decades of collecting certain taxes on behalf of the Festus Special Road District, Jefferson County recently realized it may not have the proper legal authority to do that and stopped the practice.

According to officials, the question revolves around the authority of the Festus Special Road District, which has maintained 35 miles of roads in a small section of Jefferson County since 1904.

The taxes at issue are the statewide gasoline tax, vehicle sales tax and certain vehicle fees. They make up 22% of the road district's budget or about $180,000 in revenue each year.

Festus Special Road District Superintendent Randy Casey told News 4 the drop in funding will impact road repaving and repairs, "But now the projects we were really going to get a jump start on for next year, as far as working in this fall or late this summer, we put on hold because we don't know if the funds are going to be there." 

Jefferson County officials said they realized the legal problem in May but have not done anything to fix the problem. Jefferson County Councilman Jim Kasten recently proposed an ordinance to make the district’s actions legal.

“I think that’s something that could happen within the next meeting or two. I believe we can come to an agreement on the ordinance and language can be hammered out,” said Kasten.

Other officials said it is critical that the proposed ordinance pass soon because flood waters recently damaged Jefferson County roads.

“We’re hoping that the county expedite this. We hope the council will push an ordinance through there so that we can continue this funding that’s very important to the district,” said Casey.

County councilman Jim Kasten proposed writing a new agreement between the county and the road district and it was approved by the full council. But working out details and getting it passed has been a slow process.

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