COOPER COUNTY, Mo.
The Cooper County Clerk has filed a lawsuit against the county commission and individual commissioners claiming a contract for tax services from 1991 is still enforceable.
The contract from 1991 includes the commission, the county clerk and the city of Boonville and deals with the calculation of certain taxes in the city. The document states the compensation should be paid to the county, the county collector and the clerk.
Sarah Herman, the current Cooper County Clerk, claims the commissioners made a new contract in 2018 without her knowledge. The new contract provides the same services provided by the clerk's office but does not provide compensation.
According to the court documents, Herman claims even though she has made attempts to solve the issue, county commissioners refuse to give her office compensation it is entitled to under the 1991 contract.
This comes as tensions are high between the commissioners and the clerk. The commission approved a budget in January which included $90,000 less than requested from the clerk.
Herman is being represented by Richard Hicks, who told ABC 17 News that he could not comment on the lawsuit at this time. Hicks said the clerk is asking the court to determine what the law is regarding contracting with municipalities.
The clerk is claiming her office is not required to extend taxes from cities and can contract with those cities for her services. Under Missouri law, "extending" taxes means calculating and recording what each property owner owes in real property tax.
Herman is also claiming the 1991 contract is not void and should still be enforced. The court documents say the commissioners believe the new contract from 2018 makes the former contract void.
The clerk claims she was never aware of the contract, and she is entitled to compensation.
Herman declined to comment at this time. The county commission and officials with the City of Boonville did not respond to requests for comment.