October Joint Transportation Report
By: Kelli Little, WCCA Deputy Director
The legislature’s Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs committee met September 26 and 27 in Newcastle. At this meeting, the committee continued their discussion of vehicle registration fees and if the current depreciation schedule for the county portion of the fee needs to be changed.
After hearing my presentation at the May JTC meeting comparing Wyoming’s fees with our surrounding states, the committee asked the WCCA and the Wyoming County Treasurers Association to meet and put together a fee depreciation schedule for the county fees that remained revenue neutral but depreciated out the fees over a period of 10-15 years. For reference, the county fee is now calculated on a 5-year schedule starting at a year of service rate of 60% and ending at 15% (MSRP x year of service rate x .03).
The WCCA Transportation Committee and the Treasurers met during WACO to discuss this topic and settled on a 10-year schedule that started the year of service rate higher to make up for the loss of revenue at the end of the schedule. The concern with this tactic was the higher rate that newer vehicle licensees would be paying to make up for the lost revenue.
The Treasurers, with support from the WCCA, presented that schedule to the JTC yesterday. After the presentation, Senator Meier suggested working on an alternative method than what we proposed. During the lunch recess, a small group including the Treasurers present, Commissioner Micky Shober, Commissioner Marty Ertman, Senator Meier, Representative Eklund, Senator Anderson and Representative Brown worked together on an alternative formula.
The group came up with a rough formula that would bump up the year of service rate to start at 65% and would depreciate until the county fee reached a minimum amount of $50. Senator Meier presented this option to the entire JTC after the lunch break and moved to draft a bill. The motion passed but the vote was split, with the dissenters showing concern about the $50 minimum being too high for some people who are paying significantly lower than that to register trailers and other smaller items.
Senator Meier intends to work with the County Treasurers and the WCCA to draft a bill to change the fee schedule structure before the November JTC meeting. Stay tuned…