By DAN GUZEWICH Sentinel staff writer
There’s good fiscal news for Oneida County Clerk Sandra J. DePerno in the executive budget announced this week by the governor.
Tucked away in the Transportation section of the budget briefing book is a sentence that says, "...the budget includes legislation to mitigate the financial impact on county clerks from placing additional DMV transactions online."
That’s a fun read for DePerno.
"More revenue for the county. That’s good news," she said Friday.
Currently, county DMV offices keep 12.7 percent of fees for transactions like license or registration renewals handled in their offices while retaining none of the online DMV transactions. While online transactions offer the convenience of not having to wait in line at DMV offices like the ones in Rome and Utica, they do take revenue away from local coffers.
As proposed, counties would retain 4 percent of fees above the baseline number collected via internet transactions for 2011 in that county, according to the New York State Association of Counties.
DePerno said she did not know how much money her office would gain from the change, but something is better than nothing. She expects the county would start receiving a cut from online transactions beginning April 1, which is when the state’s fiscal year begins.
This year’s county budget projects DMV transactions bringing in about $1.4 million to the county. On a standard license renewal that costs $64.50, the county receives $8.19 when the transaction is done in-person.
DePerno said the state association of county clerks has been talking with the state about the situation for some time now and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came through in his 2012-13 budget.
"The public benefits from the convenience of online transactions, and this proposal encourages the expansion of DMV’s technology use while protecting the budgets of county clerks," Morris Peters, spokesperson for the state Division of Budget.