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Richmond Heights Council Discusses Lobbyist for Tax Issues

St. Louis County tax sharing was discussed.

St. Louis County's sales tax sharing plan was an issue at Monday’s Richmond Height’s City Council Meeting.

City Manager Amy Hamilton said the City of Fenton sent Richmond Heights Mayor James Beck a note voicing concerns about the sharing of tax revenue among the various municipalities in St. Louis County. The issue was discussed during the 2012 Missouri legislative session.

Fenton wants those cities which generate large amounts of tax revenue due to a large retail base, like Richmond Heights and Fenton, to hire a lobbyist to represent their interests in Missouri’s House and Senate. Hamilton also said Richmond Heights has not responded to the letter.

St. Louis County Municipal League Executive Director Tim Fischesser spoke before the council on the tax issue. The SLCPL is a non-profit organization which seeks to “improve the quality of municipal government in the St. Louis metropolitan area,” according to its website.

Fischesser said some legislators supported the sharing of less revenue amongst the County’s municipalities, some wanted more sharing and others wanted to end all sharing. No legislation has been passed or even made it out of house committee, he noted. Fischesser also said the small cities have already hired a lobbyist.  

Beck said the issue would be discussed againat the next meeting on Nov. 19.

In addition, the council also read an amendment to their municipal code involving disturbances at funeral and burial services. The amendment will be voted on in the next meeting, said Hamilton.

The amendment said no person “will picket, engage in protest activities, or cause picketing within 300 feet of any residence, cemetery, funeral home, church, synagogue during or within one hour before or one hour after any funeral or burial service at that place,” according to documentation provided at the meeting.

City Attorney Kenneth Heinz said such ordinances have been passed because “extremist groups” have picketed outside of funerals of military veterans. The Topeka, KS based Westboro Baptist Church has picketed outside of the funerals of military members and at Clayton High School.

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