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Monday, February 24, 2020

Mo. AG sues 13 municipalities over revenue from traffic tickets

By Mark Payne | Dec 19, 2014

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against 13 municipalities in St. Louis County on Thursday for allegedly violating a state law for calculating revenue from fines.

The municipalities allegedly failed to properly calculate how much of their revenue came from court costs, traffic violations and fines. Under Macks Creek law, municipalities can’t receive more than 30 percent of their revenue from these types of fines and costs. Anything greater than 30 percent must be reported with the money given to local school districts.

"The Macks Creek law was enacted to protect Missourians from predatory traffic ticketing," Koster said.  "As we continue to identify areas for reform, an important first step is to require St. Louis County municipalities to follow the Macks Creek law to the letter. Based on my review, these 13 municipalities did not."

If a municipality doesn’t comply with the law, it can lose jurisdiction over giving out traffic tickets.

"If these municipalities will work with my office to come into compliance, we will work with them," Koster said. "If they fail to work with us, or simply do not have the ability to comply with state law, then they should lose jurisdiction over traffic violations."

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