Section 22. (a) Counties and other political subdivisions are hereby prohibited from levying any tax, license or fees, not authorized by law, charter or self-enforcing provisions of the constitution when this section is adopted or from increasing the current levy of an existing tax, license or fees, above that current levy authorized by law or charter when this section is adopted without the approval of the required majority of the qualified voters of that county or other political subdivision voting thereon. If the definition of the base of an existing tax, license or fees, is broadened, the maximum authorized current levy of taxation on the new base in each county or other political subdivision shall be reduced to yield the same estimated gross revenue as on the prior base. If the assessed valuation of property as finally equalized, excluding the value of new construction and improvements, increases by a larger percentage than the increase in the general price level from the previous year, the maximum authorized current levy applied thereto in each county or other political subdivision shall be reduced to yield the same gross revenue from existing property, adjusted for changes in the general price level, as could have been collected at the existing authorized levy on the prior assessed value.
(b) The limitations of this section shall not apply to taxes imposed for the payment of principal and interest on bonds or other evidence of indebtedness or for the payment of assessments on contract obligations in anticipation of which bonds are issued which were authorized prior to the effective date of this section.
(Adopted November 4, 1980)
CROSS REFERENCES: License or fees adjustment by political subdivision not deemed "increase" as used in Mo. Const., Art. X, § 22, when, RSMo 67.042
Public record copying fees not deemed to be as used by Art. X, § 22, RSMo 610.026
(1982) Increases in sewerage and water rates for maintenance and operation of sewerage and water facilities is not prohibited where increases for repayment of principal and interest of the revenue bonds were not only authorized but dictated by the bond election. Oswald v. City of Blue Springs (Mo. banc), 635 S.W.2d 332.
(1982) The first phrase of § 22(a) means that it does not affect any license or fee specific in amount which, although authorized at the time of adoption of the section, had not yet actually been imposed, but that it does apply to those authorized licenses or fees which are not specific in amount. Roberts v. McNary (Mo. banc), 636 S.W.2d 332.
(1983) Voter approval is required before there can be an increase in the current levy of an existing tax above the current levy authorized by law on November 4, 1980, even if increase is within the authorized constitutional and statutory maximum rate. Wenzlaff v. Lawton (Mo. banc), 653 S.W.2d 215.
(1991) Increases in specific charges for services actually provided by an ambulance district are not subject to the Hancock Amendment. District charges were user fees, while constitutional provision refers to fees which are taxes in everything but name. Keller v. Marion County Ambulance District, 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. en banc).
(1993) Where there is doubt if charge imposed by sewer district is user fee or tax, doubt is resolved in favor of taxpayers and Metropolitan Sewer District's charges are subject to this section and may not be increased without prior voter approval. Beatty v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, 867 S.W.2d 217 (Mo. en banc).
(1998) License fee provision of ordinance regulating tobacco product sales, adopted without voter approval in violation of Hancock Amendment, was not so essentially and inseparably connected with other substantive provisions in ordinance that ordinance would not accomplish its purpose if license fee was eliminated, therefore the fee provision was severable, and savings clause indicated legislative intent to retain any provisions not violative of the constitution. Avanti Petroleum, Inc. v. St. Louis County, 974 S.W.2d 506 (E.D. Mo.).