street. CHARLES – Motorists who have seen too many expired license plates or temporary markers on the roads in the St. Louis area finally have an outlet beyond angry social media posts and post-accident rants.
If you happen to be seen in St. Charles, the leaders there say they are looking for leads. The temporary tag information line was opened on Monday.
The advice line is actually a dedicated email account – email@example.com — and St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer suspects it will quickly be filled with photos of expired temporary signs.
“We took this step just to show that we are taking positive action in St. Charles,” Borgmeier said on Tuesday. “I expect a very big response because people are angry about it.”
the movement – First reported by KTVI (Channel 2) – is a novel idea in an area where rumblings about expired temporary markers have been on the rise in recent years. The prevalence of expired temporary tags is attributed to Higher state and local sales tax rates And the state’s antiquated system cannot collect sales taxes at the point of purchase. Add in the annual vehicle personal property taxes required to stay licensed and the hassle of getting to the DMV with the right documents every two years, and the number of expired licenses grows.
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Burgmeier said his constituents — at least those who pay their taxes — are fed up. he is too.
“I saw a guy driving a BMW today with a tag from 2020,” Burgmeier said. “If you can afford to buy a BMW, you should be able to pay your sales tax.”
The mayor said he hopes to take some of the burden off patrol officers and mail citations to people once the St. Charles Police Department traces the owner of the expired tags.
But William Waller, director of municipal and criminal defense at public interest law firm ArchCity Defenders, said that accusing someone of driving with expired cards would require a photo of both the driver and the expired card.
It is suspected that the city may use its municipal ordinance to send alarming signals to owners of vehicles with expired tags, along the lines of this Cities like Calverton Park did. Hence, the city can only cite people who store their cars in city limits, rather than passing drivers.
Waller said St. Charles officials might be surprised by the sheer number of residents with expired cards. The tax on a new car runs into the thousands of dollars, posing a difficulty for many who can’t afford to roll taxes into their financing.
“In Missouri, it costs a lot of money to keep your car legal,” Waller said. “And it’s not just people living at the poverty line.”
Zee Gourley, Arc City’s director of communications, said the additional vetting would disproportionately affect low-income residents.
“We’ve seen this over and over again, how our municipalities in this region continue to interact with people who live on the economic margins and who may live from paycheck to paycheck,” Gourley said.
Ferguson Police Chief Troy Doyle, whose law enforcement program “Temporary Flag Tuesday.” I got similar attentionSt. Charles’ attempt to issue administrative citations without the benefit of police resources was described as an “innovative approach”.
But he said Ferguson’s approach does not try to be “punitive” and focuses on encouraging compliance.
“The Ferguson Police Department takes its licensing requirements very seriously, especially because it has been the focus of community complaints,” Doyle said in an email. “However, it should be noted that we have issued more warnings than citations for these violations. Our approach reflects our commitment to ensuring that laws are adhered to, while also showing empathy for those who may face financial constraints.
Chief Ray Gongest said any photos sent to St. Charles by residents will serve as the St. Charles Police’s initial point of investigation. Citations won’t start flying from St. Charles City Hall.
“It’s not that simple, they just send us the painting,” Goingst said.
Instead, he said, the police would have to do some basic follow-up and could use the information to determine whether some of the expired markings were on vehicles with a frequent presence in the city or whether the drivers were city dwellers. An investigation by the St. Charles Police Department has already helped bring a federal case that has arrested a temporary counterfeiting operation in North St. Louis. Without any help from the temporary tag hint line. Additional information may assist other investigations.
“We’ll just try to track some of them down and see what we have on hand,” Goingst said. “I’m not sure where we’re going to go with it.”