Oneida County legislators are calling on state officials to enact a law that would increase the county’s take of revenue generated by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Oneida and the other counties across the state receive 12.7 percent of the fees collected from the work performed at the county-operated DMV offices. The state takes the remaining 87.3 percent.
The county share was last adjusted in 1999.
Specifically, county lawmakers signed a memorializing petition this month in support of a measure to require that 25 percent of the revenue generated from the fees collected for any motor vehicle related service be retained by the county clerk. There’s a Senate bill and a companion one in the Assembly, sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica.
That idea is backed by the New York State Association of Counties and the New York State Association of County Clerks.
“The current formula in which New York state retains almost 90 percent of revenue collected from state-mandated DMV services that county employees perform is unacceptable,” said Legislator Michael B. Waterman, R-5, Camden, sponsor of a petition to the state. “The state seeks to process transactions by mail or the internet and this requires very little interaction with the ever changing diversity of our local population.
“This leaves counties to deal with the issues that require more resources and cost. The taxpayers of Oneida County deserve better.”
Petition cosponsors are Richard A. Flisnik, R-8, Marcy, Robert Koenig, R-11, Whitestown, Brian P. Mandryck, R-17, Lee, Emil Paparella, R-23, Utica, and Edward P. Welsh, R-19, Utica.
They say the increased revenue from fees could help reduce the local property tax burden, a goal the governor and legislature have called a priority in the past.
This bill has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee and the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
The Senate passed the measure 62-1 last year. However, the Assembly didn’t consider the legislation before the session ended.
It doesn’t help county clerks that transactions have been migrating out of local DMV offices, like the ones in Rome and Utica, in recent years as more and more customers deal directly with the state by going online or using mailing forms to the state for processing when it comes to standard transactions. The state redesigned its DMV website several years ago to encourage more New York motorists to renew licenses and conduct other routine DMV business on their computer or smartphone.
More than six million transactions were completed online in 2015, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said at a state budget hearing earlier this year.
Local DMV offices receive 2.5 percent of online transactions, such as driver’s license or vehicle registration renewals, after the first $1.8 million in online business from the home county. Counties receive nothing from online transactions until the $1.8 million threshold has been met, according to Oneida County Clerk Sandra J. DePerno
Counties are not required to provide state DMV services.