Rules for Missouri Fourth-Class Cities

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XX. Changing Status — Other City Options

Parenthetical numbers in the text refer to sections of the current Revised Statutes of Missouri, abbreviated as RSMo.

Eligibility and procedures

Any fourth-class city reaching an official population count of 3,000 may become a third-class city if it chooses. This happens very infrequently. Most fourth-class cities with a population of 3,000 conclude that the benefits do not outweigh the cost of holding an election. Similarly, a fourth-class city may change its status to village, though this has not been known to happen.

The board adopts an ordinance calling for election on the question. The election must be held not less than 20 days and not more than 30 days after ordinance adoption. Consider timing when making the change. Should the voters consent, the mayor becomes temporary mayor and the aldermen become temporary aldermen or village trustees until the next municipal (April) election (72.070). The chart below shows some of the differences between the three classes of municipalities.



At-largeBy ward* (two minimum)By ward* (four minimum)
Presiding officerChairman elected by boardMayor elected by votersMayor elected by voters
Veto powerNoYesYes
Pardoning powerNoYesYes
Basic bonding capacity5 percent of valuation10 percent of valuation10 percent of valuation
Basic tax rate$0.50$1.00$1.00
General sales tax**$0.01$0.01$0.01
Transportation sales tax**$0.005 (200 minimum pop.)$0.005$0.005
State gasoline tax fee sharingBy census populationBy census populationBy census population
Capital improvements sales tax1/8 to 1/2 percent1/8 to 1/2 percent1/8 to 1/2 percent
*Ward lines must be reviewed and redrawn after each decennial census.
** Except St. Louis County

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