Missouri lawmakers recently passed a bill that limits the amount of revenue that cities can take in from traffic tickets — so called “taxation by citation”.
According to the bill’s sponsor Eric Schmitt, “what’s happened is a lot of municipalities and city managers have viewed the citizenry as nothing more than ATMs for bloated government.”
The new bill lowers the maximum revenue that a city can take in from traffic tickets from 30% to 20% in most of the state. In St. Louis county, the number is even lower — 12.5%. The bill would also limit minor traffic fines to $300 and would ban jail time for most traffic offenses.
The bill is meant to discourage overzealous law enforcement and government officials who see citizens as cash cows.
Many Missouri city officials say that the new bill will cause them major budget struggles.
The bill goes into effect August 28.