How Is Service of Process Fees Like the School Funding Formula?
They are alike because the smaller counties in Missouri choose not to tax themselves to pay enough for their sheriff deputies, so the state then taxes all counties, including the larger counties that already pay their deputies a decent salary, in order to make up the disparity.
As a former St. Louis County deputy sheriff, I am uniquely qualified to comment on this story. The Political Fix has a post here about the decision in a lawsuit brought by St. Charles and St. Louis counties. Now, my own post is not a comment on the decision in the lawsuit. I have no idea whether the specific legal claims have merit. I just know that this is one more example in which the taxpayers in our larger counties have to pay higher taxes (or, in this case, a higher fee) for something because the smaller counties refuse to tax themselves enough.
I have absolutely no problem with smaller counties choosing to tax themselves less, but I do have a problem with taxing the larger counties more in order to pay employees in smaller counties more. I do not know whether this could be considered “socialism” or not, as County Executive Steve Ehlmann said, but I do know that it is terrible public policy, and blatantly biased as well. Both county executives Ehlmann and Charlie Dooley deserve credit for fighting this new law.