Ordinances Held Constitutional for BB&D Client St. Louis Collector of Revenue

BB&D Member Dave Luce represented the Collector of Revenue of the City of St. Louis who, along with the City itself, was sued by two plaintiffs claiming that one ordinance authorizing the City’s payroll tax and two other ordinances authorizing certain redevelopment agreements (to revitalize downtown employment) were unconstitutional.  The challenge to the payroll tax focused on the City’s authority under its “home rule” charter to institute the tax without a specific grant of authority by the State legislature.  The Missouri Court of Appeals sided with BB&D’s client ruling that a 1971 amendment to the Missouri constitution empowered charter cities like St. Louis to institute the tax without a specific enabling state statute.  The two redevelopment ordinances provided certain incentives to two employers in the city, if they agreed to redevelop their offices and bring new employees to the city.  The ordinances were attacked under a variety of legal theories, including that the redevelopment projects did not have a public purpose.  The Appellate Court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims and found the ordinances constitutional.