How municipalities are preparing for traffic ticket revenue limi - KMOV.com

How municipalities are preparing for traffic ticket revenue limits

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(KMOV.com) – Towns in the St. Louis area are preparing for a new state law that limits how much revenue cities can collect from traffic tickets.

Missouri Senate Bill 5, which goes into effect in September, caps the amount of revenue cities in St. Louis County can collect from traffic revenue at 12.5 percent. The law also caps fines for minor traffic offenses at $300, and bans towns from putting people in jail who can’t pay traffic fines.

The bill was authored by State Senator Eric Schmitt after protests in Ferguson highlighted how small municipalities use traffic tickets for revenue collection. Schmitt thinks the bill is one way to rebuild trust between people and their municipal governments.

“It was all about the money and less about enforcement. Senate Bill 5 goes a long way on cracking down on the practice I like to refer to as taxation by citation,” Schmitt said. “There’s already been some internal reforms in municipal courts. There is still more work to do, but I think as we move forward, our justice system will be fairer to everyone.”

Leaders of small municipalities told News 4 they are being proactive by attending workshops and taking another look at their budgets.

“Now I think for the first time we’re gonna see more sharing of services, more cooperative arrangements and I think it will benefit taxpayers,” Schmitt said.

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