Dec. 27, 2002

Budget language under the Department of Motor Vehicles includes the closure of the 12 DMV offices around the state that were part of Governor Warner’s October 15 budget reductions.

Also in this section is language authorizing DMV to enter into agreements with “any local constitutional officers” to act as licensed agents for the department and to negotiate a separate compensation schedule for such officers other than the schedule currently set out in the Code of Virginia under Section 46.2-205.  (Currently, 46-205 allows a commission of 3 ˝% of gross collections).  The compensation would then be transferred to the Compensation Board, who would, in turn, distribute the money to the appropriate constitutional officer (page 449 of the budget bill, Item 480, Section D, lines 32-42.

§         VACo believes that the local governing body should be included in the agreement with DMV, not just the local constitutional officer.  According to VACo’s recent inquiry to county administrators regarding the October 15 reductions, the majority of counties fully funded the Compensation Board’s cuts to their constitutional officers this fall.   Moreover, localities have historically and significantly subsidized the operations of constitutional officers in addition to any restoration of state funding cuts pursuant to the Governor’s October 15 actions.  

§         Should the Compensation Board be receiving the money that is to be generated locally and then redistributing it, or should it go directly to the locality? If the Compensation Board receives the money, is there any guarantee that it would be directed back to the originating locality on a dollar-for-dollar basis?

DMV has already reached out to constitutional officers in the areas of the state affected by the 12 closings, and to the Commissioners and Treasurers associations.  Moreover, both the Commissioners Association and the Treasurers Association have task forces working on the issue.  There are 3 pilot programs currently under negotiation in Shenandoah, Fauquier, and Mathews Counties and the Boards of Supervisors in these localities are a party to the agreements. 

Please contact Ellen Davenport or Larry Land of VACo with thoughts on this issue.

Ellen, (804) 343-2503, edavenport@vaco.org

Larry, (804) 343-2504, lland@vaco.org