Missouri House OKs bill changing county classfications

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed legislation that could spare some counties from changing their government.

Legislation that passed Thursday would raise the assessed valuation necessary for a county to move into a higher classification. In Missouri, counties in the highest classification typically have more officials who receive higher pay than those in smaller counties.

The House bill would increase the minimum assessed valuation for a first-class county to $900 million from the current $600 million. It also would bump up the assessed valuations for second- and third-class counties.

House Speaker Ron Richard says the change is needed because some counties cannot afford to step up a classification and take on additional costs during a poor economy.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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