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Springfield voters to decide on $5,000 fee for short-term lending establishments

Payday Loans businesses could face a $5,000 annual permit fee.
Payday Loans businesses could face a $5,000 annual permit fee.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield voters will decide whether short-term loan businesses should have to pay a yearly fee of up to $5,000.

“We have heard anecdotal stories now about how busy payday lenders have been since March 15 when people were getting laid off,” said Community Foundation of the Ozarks president Brian Fogle.

Fogle said this issue is important now more than ever.

”I do worry about those consequences going forward, so it’s more timely now than it was March 1, certainly,” Fogle said.

Fogle worked on a task force that drafted the ordinance, which was approved by city council in May.

”Just trying to provide better information is what the ordinance is about so people can make better decisions, better consumer decisions,” he said.

We reached out to multiple payday and title loan businesses Thursday. Many refused an interview. Others never got back to us.

”That industry has done a great job of making it really easy. You go in, barely any questions asked and you walk out with money very quickly,” Fogle said.

Now, voters have a choice to charge payday lenders for offering up quick cash. A permit would cost $5,000 a year or $2,500 if they open up more than halfway through the year.

”Most of that money would be going to help the city with enforcement, going around, make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to on the signage, on the disclosure, making sure people know what they’re getting into,” Fogle said.

St. Louis charges a similar fee of $5,000. The fee is as low as a thousand dollars in Kansas City.

According to the ordinance, businesses who do not comply could face a fine ranging between $100 and $500, or up to 180 days in jail.

Polls open up Tuesday, August 4.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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