ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Our You Paid For It investigative team has discovered that taxpayers might save a million dollars a year by getting rid of the St. Louis City License Collector's Office.
At present, St. Louis City residents are on the hook for License Collector Mavis Thompson’s $80,000 annual salary and take home vehicle, as well as other top staffers, one of whom also gets a free car to take home.
The License Collector's Office has a $2 million a year budget.
However, the city's revenue department can also do the same job and eliminate the waste of paying two offices to do the job of issuing business licenses and collecting certain business taxes. Combining those offices could save taxpayers a million bucks.
St. Louis and St. Charles counties let their respective revenue and finance departments handle that job.
On the other side of Missouri, Kansas City’s Revenue Department handles all of the work. They have a satellite office across the street from city hall, making it a one-stop shop for folks wanting to acquire business licenses.
It's an efficient set up, according to the Kansas City Revenue Commissioner, having her office issue licenses.
In St. Louis, representatives for Better Together, the group that did an exhaustive study of questionable municipal spending, said they spoke with a group of 100 business people who complained about the runaround they get with the current setup in the city. It forces them to go to multiple offices to get something done.
St. Louis City has the only elected License Collector's Office in the state. The system can only be changed by a vote of the legislature or a vote of the people.