October Joint Transportation Report
By: Kelli Little, WCCA Deputy Director
The Joint Transportation Committee met in Casper on Monday, October 22. There were a few topics of general interest for counties on the agenda, the biggest of those being the modernization and maintenance of the Revenue Information System (RIS). This system is currently used by county clerks and county treasurers for vehicle titling, license plates, title searches, lien filing, etc.
WYDOT presented a report they compiled with options on updating the RIS. The current system is 40+ years old and outdated. The agency presented several options moving forward, with the preferred option being a cloud-based pre-built configurable system.
The plan proposed by WYDOT would come at a substantial cost for the state. There is no clear indication on whether counties would be responsible for purchase of the hardware and software for their clerk’s and treasurer’s offices. There is also an annual maintenance cost component. One suggested approach to pay for annual maintenance is instituting a “user fee” on all entities, including counties, that access the RIS.
The Joint Transportation Committee voted to continue moving forward in the process of replacing the RIS, with the goal of pinpointing more exact costs. We will be following this process closely and will offer input when we have a clearer picture of the county responsibilities for purchasing new hardware/software, as well as paying any proposed annual user fees.
During the “other business” portion of the meeting, Sen. Meier presented a surprise draft bill that would change the depreciation of the county portion of the vehicle registration fee. This bill was not listed on the agenda or in the materials on the LSO website prior to the meeting. As such, there was no discussion or public comment and the committee will take up the draft bill during their next meeting in Torrington, December 10 & 11. To see the draft bill, click here.
This is a topic that we have been working with this committee and the county treasurers on for the past two interims, with the committee rejecting any options that have been presented by the counties. We have continually asked the committee to keep any changes revenue neutral for the counties. This draft bill includes 3 alternative depreciation schedules, none of which would keep the revenue neutral, and would be a loss to counties.
We will work with the WCCA Transportation Committee, as well as the county treasurers, to reach out to committee members with our concerns about lost revenue.