Ladue Objects to Its Phone Bill
The Post-Dispatch is reporting that the City of Ladue is balking at its requested contribution to the Municipal League for its share of the Verizon cell phone settlement. I certainly see Ladue’s point here. After all, the requested fee is for a share of the settlement after legal fees, so it does not go toward those. It just goes to help the county and state municipal leagues continue to lobby state government on behalf of local government, which is a whole ‘nother issue and which I think is a horrible use of tax dollars. I’ll save that for another day, though.
Here is an interesting little nugget in the article:
Ladue’s taxes in dispute exceeded $629,000, higher by far than any other city in the county.
I find that very interesting, since Ladue, with just 8,413 people, is not one of the larger cities in St. Louis County. Have the stereotypically wealthy people of Ladue used more cell phones for a longer time with more plan minutes than people in other cities? Are they so wealthy that the cell phones they bought in 1989, installed in their Jaguars (do you remember how popular those were in the ’80s?), with a rate of $3.50 per minute, are still in operation at those prices? Do they just not care about the new plans with stuff such as free phones and unlimited minutes? Do they not know they can add their butler to their favorite five and save a bundle? I am kidding here, of course. But the only answer I can think of as to why Ladue’s disputed tax bill is larger than any other city is that the residents have had more cell phones for a longer time on average. Any suggestions out there?
But back to the issue at hand. Ladue has a history of tough negotiating (see New I-64 project road changes), but at least this time they seem to have a fair argument. It’s not as though they are disputing the amount owed to the lawyers who did the actual work just the amount owed the municipal league for whatever they did. And it’s not as if they won’t pay anything, they just won’t pay the full requested amount. I predict some sort of compromise here, as I can’t imagine the municipal league can sue over this, but this might well be one battle Ladue wins, and I commend them for fighting the moneygrab by the municipal league.