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BULLET St. Louis City Charter Article XV Department of Finance*

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Article XV
Department of Finance*

* Constitution:

Art. 6 23 et seq. Local finances

Art. 10 Taxation

* City Counselor Ops.: 8201, 10418

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 1 Composition.

The department of finance shall include the office of the comptroller and the assessment, collection, treasury and supply divisions.

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 2 The comptroller.

The comptroller shall have the qualifications and forfeit his office for the cause provided with regard to the mayor; receive a salary of eight thousand dollars per annum; give bond to the city for not less than three hundred thousand dollars, and appoint one deputy comptroller and such other deputies and employees as may be provided by ordinance. The comptroller shall be the head of the department of finance and exercise a general supervision over its divisions, over all the fiscal affairs of the city and over all its property, assets and claims, and the disposition thereof. He shall preserve the credit of the city, and for that purpose, or in case of any extraordinary emergency of any kind, he may, with the approval of the board of estimate and apportionment, and with or without any ordinance or other authority or appropriation therefor, draw warrants on the treasurer or effect temporary loans to pay debts and judgments and other liabilities of the city, or to meet any such emergency, charging such warrants to any excess balances in appropriations made by the general annual appropriation bill and specifically reporting his action to the board of aldermen at its first meeting thereafter. He shall have a seat and a voice but no vote in the board of aldermen. He shall be the general accountant and auditor of the city and the records in his office shall show the financial operations and condition, property assets, claims and liabilities of the city, all expenditures authorized, and all contracts in which the city is interested. He shall require proper fiscal accounts, records, settlements and reports to be kept, made and rendered to him by the several departments and offices of the city, including the license collector's office so far as consistent with law, and shall control and continually audit the same, and prescribe forms, rules and regulations therefor and require their observance. He shall regulate the making of all requisitions for supplies. Except as by this charter or by law or ordinance otherwise provided he shall prescribe and regulate the manner of paying creditors, officers and employees of the city. He shall audit all pay rolls, accounts and claims against the city, and certify thereon the balance as stated by him and draw his warrant on the treasurer therefor, but no pay roll, account or claim, or any part thereof, except for the preservation of the credit of the city, or in case of extraordinary emergency as hereinbefore provided, shall be audited against the city unless certified by the officer having knowledge of the facts and authorized by law or ordinance, and the amount required for payment of the same appropriated for that purpose by ordinance and in the treasury. He shall see that no contract liability is incurred except for the preservation of the city's credit, or in case of emergency, as hereinbefore provided, without previous authority of law or ordinance. He shall, at least monthly, adjust the settlements of all officers engaged in the collection of the revenue. He may temporarily transfer employees from one division of the department of finance to any other division thereof. He shall have power to administer oaths. He shall receive and preserve in his office all books, vouchers and papers relating to the fiscal affairs of the city. He may destroy any document, books, vouchers, papers or canceled blank forms pertaining to any department, board or office if he, the city counselor, and the head of such department, board or office certify that they are useless and the board of estimate and apportionment so directs. He shall keep a register of all delinquent and special tax bills or other claims of the city in the nature of liens on property and shall release any such bill or claims thereon on proof of payment thereof.

V.A.M.S.:

137.525 Duties of city comptroller in assessment of property

City Counselor Ops.: 7816, 7836, 7893, 7894, 7917, 7920, 7973, 7994, 8010, 8046, 8046a, 8052, 8202, 8265, 8443, 8448, 8522, 8569, 8676, 8711, 8872, 8866, 8978, 8985, 9013, 9050, 9117, 9166, 9220, 9985, 10334, 10493

Cases:

The city may appropriate bonds instead of appropriating money to pay the cost of public works. Jennings v. Kinsey, 271 S.W. 786, 308 Mo. 265 (1925).

The comptroller has broad discretionary powers of a quasi-judicial nature, but he does not control the policy-making powers of the civil service commission. Kirby v. Nolte, 164 S.W. 2d 1, 349 Mo. 1015 (1942).

The comptroller can disapprove the expenditure of money out of appropriations only on the ground they are unauthorized or manifest an abuse of discretion. Kirby v. Nolte, 164 S.W. 2d 1, 349 Mo. 1015 (1942).

St. Louis ordinance establishing convention and tourism bureau was not inherently incompatible with charter requirements pertaining to the appropriation and use of tax monies. Ruggeri v. City of St. Louis, 441 S.W. 2d 361 (1969).

Lease agreement executed by city officials without authorization by city did not constitute a legal obligation of the city. Vigran v. Poelker, 433 F.Supp. 168 (1977).

Judgment in mandamus compelling comptroller of city to approve and pay certain contracts entered into by the clerk of the circuit court was approved as to the expenditures deemed reasonable by the Judicial Finance Commission and reversed as to the expenditures deemed unreasonable. Bosley P. Berra, 688 S.W. 2d 353 (Mo. banc 1985).

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 3 Designation of subordinate to affix comptroller's signature.

Any officer or employee in the comptroller's office may be designated by him to draw warrants upon the treasury with the same effect as if signed by the comptroller, such designation to be in writing, in duplicate, filed with the mayor and in the treasury division; provided, that the mayor may make such designation if the comptroller be absent or disabled and there be no one in his office designated to act. Any such designation may be revoked by the comptroller while acting as such by filing the revocation in duplicate with the mayor and in the treasury division.

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 4 Composition of assessment division.

The assessment division shall consist of the assessor and such deputy assessors and employees as may be provided by ordinance.

Cases:

The tax assessor does not have the power to accept the dedication of a street. Granite Bituminous Paving Co. v. McManus, 148 S.W. 621, 244 Mo. 184 (1912).

Section 5 Assessor.

The assessor shall have the qualifications provided with regard to the mayor; receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, and, before entering upon the duties of his office, take an oath similar to that required by law of county assessors. He shall be the head of the assessment division; appoint the deputy assessors and employees in his division; preserve all maps, plats, books and papers belonging to said division; cause all plats to be prepared, altered and corrected as required by law; receive lists, statements or returns of property; and furnish blanks and information to those desiring to appeal to the board of equalization.

Ops. Atty. Gen.:

Assessment lists and assessment books maintained in office of assessor of City of St. Louis are public records open to public inspection. No. 40, May 13, 1955.

City Counselor Ops.: 9715

Cases:

The office of assessor is a city office, not a county office. State v. Schramm, 199 S.W. 194, 272 Mo. 541 (1917).

Valuation of property by assessor not conclusive on state board of equalization. Columbia Terminus Co. v. Koein, 3 S.W. 2d 1021, 319 Mo. 445 (1928).

Section 6 Deputy assessors.

Each deputy assessor shall take the same oath as the assessor and have the same powers, subject to his control, and shall have been a resident of the city for five years next before appointment.

Section 7 Bonds to be given state.

The assessor and his deputies before entering upon their duties shall give bond to the state; the assessor for twenty thousand dollars and the deputies each for five thousand dollars, or such other sums as may be fixed by ordinance. Each bond shall be executed in duplicate and one forwarded to the state auditor, the other deposited with the comptroller.

Section 8 Assessments to be made.

The assessor, or his deputies under his direction, shall severally assess all the taxable property, real or personal, within the city in the manner provided by law, and for that purpose the assessor may divide and assign the work or any of it among them. They shall commence their assessment on the first day of June in each year, and complete the same, and the deputies make their final reports thereof to the assessor, on or before the first day of January next following. The assessor shall see that the assessment is made uniform and equal throughout the city.

V.A.M.S.:

92.010 et seq. Generally, taxation in St. Louis and Kansas City 137.485-137.550 Property Taxes

City Counselor Ops.: 9715

Cases:

The doubling of an assessment may not be done automatically but must be done by the assessor. State v. Scullin, 181 S.W. 40, 266 Mo. 319 (1915).

Valuation of property by city assessor not conclusive on state board of equalization. Columbia Terminus Co. v. Koein, 3 S.W. 2d 1021, 319 Mo. 445 (1928).

McQuillin:

38.89-38.91 Power to Levy Assessments

Section 9 Assessment books.

The assessor shall make up the assessment books in proper alphabetical order from the reports made by the deputy assessors, the lists or statements made of property, his own view, or the best information he can otherwise obtain, and complete said books on or before the third Monday in March of each year.

Section 10 Board of equalization-Members; oath; compensation.

There shall be a board of equalization consisting of the assessor, who shall be its president, and four taxpaying, property-owning citizens resident in the city for ten years next before their appointment, who shall be appointed annually by the mayor on or before the second Monday in March. Each member shall take an oath similar to that required by law of members of county boards of equalization. Their compensation shall be fixed by ordinance.

V.A.M.S.:

138.140-138.180 Board of equalization in St. Louis City

Section 11 Powers and duties.

Said board shall have the power and duty to hear complaints and appeals, and to adjust, correct and equalize the valuations and assessments of any taxable property, real or personal, within the city and to assess and equalize the value of any taxable property, real or personal, within the city, and to assess and equalize the value of any taxable property, real or personal, omitted from the assessment books then under examination by them, and to adjust and correct the assessment books accordingly; provided, that if said board proposes to increase any assessment or to assess any such omitted property, it shall give notice of the fact to the person owning or controlling the property affected, his agent or representative, by personal notice, by mail, or by advertisement, specifying when and where a hearing shall be granted.

Cases:

The city board has the power to assess omitted property. State v. Title Guaranty Trust Co., 169 S.W. 28, 261 Mo. 448 (1914).

Valuation of property by city assessor is not conclusive on state board of equalization. Columbia Terminus Co. v. Koein, 3 S.W. 2d 1021, 319 Mo. 445 (1928).

Section 12 Notice of availability of assessment books and time of sessions.

When the assessment books are completed the assessor shall give two weeks' notice in at least two daily newspapers that said books are open for inspection and stating when the board of equalization will be in session.

Ops. Atty. Gen.:

Assessment lists and assessment books maintained in office of assessor of City of St. Louis are public records open to public inspection. No. 40, May 13, 1955.

City Counselor Ops.: 8847

Section 13 Meetings; evidence; appeals.

The said board shall meet on or before the third Monday in March, annually, and remain in continuous session for at least three hours in the forenoon and at least three hours in the afternoon of each day, except Sunday, for four weeks and no longer. It shall have power to subpoena witnesses and order the production of books and papers, and any member may administer oaths in relation to any matter within its jurisdiction. It shall hear and determine all appeals summarily, and keep a record of its proceedings, which shall remain in the assessment division.

Cases:

The board of license revision does not have the power to equalize the valuations of merchants' statements. That power would belong to the board of equalization. State v. Alt, 123 S.W. 882, 224 Mo. 493 (1909).

An error in stating its source of power in a notice of a proposed increase in assessment does not deprive the board of equalization of jurisdiction. State v. Board of Equalization, 165 S.W. 1047, 256 Mo. 455 (1914).

If the board of equalization acts without jurisdiction certiorari is the proper remedy to quash its record and proceedings. State v. Board of Equalization, 165 S.W. 1047, 256 Mo. 455 (1914).

Section 14 Who may appeal.

Any person may appeal in writing to the board of equalization from the assessment of his property, specifying the matter of which he complains.

Section 15 Abstract of books, extension of taxes and issuance of tax bills.

After the assessment books have been corrected, the assessor shall make an abstract thereof showing the amount of the several kinds of property assessed and specifying the amount of value of all taxable property within the city, and certify thereon that the same is a true and correct abstract of all such property in the city so far as he has been able to ascertain. One copy of the abstract, verified by his oath, shall be delivered on or before the fourth Monday in May to the mayor, and another to the state auditor. The assessor shall extend in said assessment books the state, school and city taxes and include in said books such matter as the law shall provide or the comptroller require. The assessor shall then cause tax bills to be made out for such taxes in such forms as the law shall provide or the comptroller prescribe, and deliver them with a duplicate schedule thereof to the comptroller, who shall compare said bills with said books and schedule and test the footings, and then officially stamp said bills and deliver them with one schedule to the collector and take his separate receipts; one for the aggregate of said bills, and another for the state taxes, which last receipt the comptroller shall transmit to the state auditor.

Section 16 Erroneous assessments; duties of comptroller as to taxes.

The comptroller shall hear and determine all complaints of manifest error in the assessment of property for taxes, and in all cases when it shall appear that any property, real or personal, has been erroneously assessed, cause the same to be corrected on the assessment books, and certify to the state auditor all such corrections for credit to the collector. The comptroller shall perform all duties and acts within the city, in regard to the "land delinquent list" the "sale of land for taxes," and the assessment books and tax bills that are imposed on county courts by general law; and make out the "back tax books" and the "back tax bills" required by law.

City Counselor Ops.: 7630

Section 17 Payment of expenses of assessment.

The costs and expenses of the assessment for each year shall be paid by the city. The comptroller shall, as soon as the amount is ascertained, certify the same to the state auditor and obtain his warrant in favor of the city for one-half thereof as provided by law.

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 18 Abstracts to be delivered by recorder of deeds.

The day after any instrument affecting the title to real estate is filed in the office of the recorder of deeds, the recorder shall deliver to the assessor an abstract thereof and to the board of public service a copy of such abstract. The assessor shall promptly change the plats in his division accordingly.

Section 19 Composition of collection division.

The collection division shall consist of the collector and such deputies and employees as may be provided by ordinance.

V.A.M.S.:

82.610 Assistants, deputies-appointments, terms

82.630 Appointment of additional clerical help.

Section 20 Collector-Qualifications, compensation, powers and duties.

The collector shall have the qualifications provided with regard to the mayor and be the head of the collection division. He shall receive such compensation as may be provided by law or ordinance. He shall collect all state, city and school taxes, wharfage, water rates and dramshop licenses, and may collect special assessments, and, unless otherwise provided by ordinance, all indebtedness and claims due the city, and daily pay the same to the city treasurer, except the state taxes, which shall be paid by him as provided by law, and except the school taxes, which shall be paid by him to the board of education of the city monthly, or oftener when required in writing by the treasurer of said board. He shall collect license taxes as permitted by law. He shall appoint the deputies and employees in his division. Each deputy shall have all the powers of the collector, subject to his control.

V.A.M.S.:

82.600 Collector of revenue in constitutional charter cities

City Counselor Ops.: 7933, 8222, 9691, 10208

McQuillin:

44.132 Tax Collectors

Section 21 Bond.

The collector, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall give bond to the state, as required by law, and to the city, as may be required by ordinance. Said bond to the state shall be executed in duplicate and one filed with the comptroller and the other with the state auditor.

V.A.M.S.:

52.020 Bond-deposits of collections

Section 22 Enforcement of payment of taxes.

The payment of all city and school taxes may be enforced in like manner as may be provided by law for enforcing the payment of state taxes.

Section 23 Composition of treasury division.

The treasury division shall consist of the treasurer, and such deputies and employees as may be provided by ordinance.

Section 24 Treasurer.

The treasurer shall have the qualifications provided with regard to the mayor and be the head of the treasury division. He shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum; before entering upon the duties of his office, give bond to the city for at least one hundred thousand dollars; and appoint the deputies and employees in his division. He shall receive and keep the money of the city, and pay out the same on warrants drawn by the comptroller and not otherwise. All money belonging to the city received by any officer or agent thereof shall be deposited daily in the treasury division unless otherwise provided by law or ordinance, and any delinquency in this respect shall be reported promptly by the treasurer to the mayor and to the comptroller. The treasurer shall deliver duplicate receipts for all money received, one to the party paying, the other to the comptroller, stating the source, the amount and to what account credited. The treasurer shall daily report the balance in the treasury to the comptroller and to the mayor.

V.A.M.S.:

82.485 et seq. City treasurer, generally

City Counselor Ops.: 9381, 9691

Cases:

The part of the charter fixing the treasurer's salary is void. State v. Nolte, 172 S.W. 2d 854, 351 Mo. 275 (1943).

St. Louis ordinance establishing convention and tourism bureau was not inherently incompatible with charter requirements pertaining to the appropriation and use of tax monies. Ruggeri v. City of St. Louis, 441 S.W. 2d 361 (1969).

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 25 Depositaries of city funds.

Depositaries of the city funds shall be selected and deposits made therein as provided by law or by ordinance recommended by the board of estimate and apportionment.

V.A.M.S.:

95.530 Selection of depository-Bond and sureties

City Counselor Ops.: 10299

Cases:

St. Louis ordinance establishing convention and tourism bureau was not inherently incompatible with charter requirements pertaining to the appropriation and use of tax monies. Ruggeri v. City of St. Louis, 441 S.W. 2d 361 (1969).

McQuillin:

39.47 Custody of Funds

39.47a--39.47b Deposit of Funds

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 26 Composition of supply division.

The supply division shall consist of the supply commissioner and such deputies and employees as may be provided by ordinance.

City Counselor Ops.: 8010

Section 27 Supply commissioner.

The supply commissioner shall be the head of the supply division, receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, give bond as required by ordinance, and appoint the deputies and employees in his division.

Section 28 Board of standardization.

The comptroller, supply commissioner and president of the board of public service shall personally or by deputy constitute the board of standardization, whose duty it shall be to classify and standardize all supplies and materials purchased by the city or used for municipal purposes and prepare precise specifications for all supplies to be purchased through the supply division. The board may maintain such laboratories or other methods of testing as may be necessary.

City Counselor Ops.: 8684, 8925, 10228, 10506

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 29 How supplies, equipment and materials are leased and purchased.

Supplies, equipment, and materials for all departments, boards or officers, exclusive of material for public work or improvements, shall be purchased or leased only through the Supply Division, according to such standards and specifications, if any, adopted or prepared by the Board of Standardization, and by advertising for proposals therefore. Bids may be for one or more or all the articles advertised for, but there shall be a specific bid on each article. The award may be made to the lowest bidder for any article or to the lowest bidder for the entire requisition or any part thereof; but the Board of Standardization may reject any or all bids or any part of any bid. The Supply Commissioner may contract for supplies, equipment and material in any amounts or for any periods as may be approved by the Board of Standardization, and subject to the provisions of this Charter. In cases of emergency, to be determined by said board, purchases or leases may be made without advertising. Purchases or leases in amounts not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) under any one contract may be also made, with the written approval of the Comptroller, without advertising, after securing competitive bids, but there shall be no division of requisitions or contracts for the purpose of securing this privilege. The Supply Commissioner shall inspect and receipt for all supplies, equipment and material.

Supplies, equipment or material shall not be ordered or contracted for by the Supply Division unless the Comptroller shall certify that a fund is applicable for payment thereof.

City Counselor Ops.: 7768, 8010, 8064, 8077, 8196, 8684, 8925, 9007, 9227, 9234, 9347, 9708, 10219, 10228, 10415

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 59773

Submission Ordinance Approved March 5, 1986

Amendment Substance: repeal Ordinance 59581 and enact new Section 29 of Article XV to increase amount of articles which may be purchased from five hundred dollars to seven thousand dollars without written approval of comptroller without advertising after securing competitive bids.

Voter Rejection Date: June, 1986

Submission Ordinance No. 60020

Submission ordinance Approved August 21, 1986

Amendment Substance: repeal Section 29 of Article XV and enact a new Section 29 dealing with the manner and method by which supplies used by the City are purchased, by adding language extending the areas of coverage for the procedures outlined in said Section, and additionally adding the leasing of supplies, equipment, or material to come within the procedures used for purchasing.

Voter Adoption Date: November 11, 1986

Submission Ordinance No. 61917

Submission Ordinance Approved April 12, 1990.

Amendment Substance: amending provisions to increase the amount of articles which may be purchased from $500.00 to $2,500 under any one contract, with the written approval of the comptroller, without advertising.

Voter Rejection Date: November 6, 1990.

Submission Ordinance 65711

Amendment substance: to increase amount of articles which may be purchased from five hundred dollars to five thousand dollars with written approval of comptroller without advertising after securing competitive bids.

Voter Adoption Date: April 8, 2003.

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 30 Public printing and publishing.

The supply commissioner shall have general supervision of the public printing and publishing and shall see that it is executed as may be provided by ordinance, letting the contract or contracts to the lowest bidder in conformity with the provisions of this article so far as they may be applicable. Until otherwise provided by ordinance, and except in condemnation proceedings, all newspaper publishing shall be in at least two daily newspapers, one in English and one in the German language. Provisions may be made by ordinance for the city doing its own printing and publishing.

City Counselor Ops.: 9134, 10219, 10472

Cases:

An ordinance is not required to be published in more than one paper, if only one paper does the city publishing. State v. City of St. Louis, 5 S.W. 2d 1080, 319 Mo. 497 (1928).

Absent any allegation that a notice was not published in a paper "doing the city publishing" it is presumed that publication was in conformity with this subsection. Wiget v. City of St. Louis, 85 S.W. 2d 1038, 337 Mo. 799 (1935).

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