City of St. Louis - County Functions

An inside look explaining the structure of St. Louis City government and how it works within County Functions.


St. Louis operates as both a city and a county. St. Louis is the only city in Missouri which operates its own "county" offices. St. Louis is a home rule city, but it is not a home rule county, thus county functions and offices are subject to state restrictions on county governments. 

St. Louis County is an entirely separate governmental entity surrounding the City of St. Louis.

County Functions

Because the City of St. Louis is independent of any county, the judicial and revenue collection functions usually performed by a county government are part of the City of St. Louis. The eight "county offices" are each separately elected offices with separate staffs. They are each elected to four year terms.

  • Circuit Clerk records the judgements, rules, orders and other proceedings of the Circuit Court En Banc. The Circuit Clerk also handles and accounts for the funds generated from Circuit Court fees. Historically an elected office, now appointed by Circuit Judges.
  • Collector Of Revenue collects real estate taxes, personal property taxes, payroll and earnings taxes, and water bills.
  • License Collector issues most licenses and receipts for license taxes. The License Collector issues 60 different types of licenses.
  • Public Administrator handles estates for people who left no wills or survivors and serves as guardian for some incapacitated people.
  • Recorder of Deeds records and serves as a repository for legal documents which affect title to real estate, and issues marriage licenses, birth certificates, and death certificates.
  • Sheriff provides security for the Circuit Court, transports prisoners between the Courts and detention facilities, serves court papers and eviction notices, and issues jury summons and gun permits.
  • Treasurer is the head of the City's banking systems and parking services operation.

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