Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scott Yost: "State and County in Cahoots Over DMV"?: Has Joe Killian reported this yet?

"...Guilford County staff decided to get Guilford County government into the business of running a license plate office – a service in North Carolina that's almost always provided by private companies. So Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox jotted three sentences down on an application and sent it to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Raleigh.

Why not open the oppurtunity up to multiples of vendors
creating multiples more jobs
and multiples of tenents for commercial real estate?

That sparse application was sent on Friday, Oct. 14 and received by the state on Monday, Oct. 17, and, even though the deadline for the applications closed on Oct. 14, Guilford County's application was accepted and the county promptly beat out 39 private providers that had applied...

It's not a lie if you believe it.

George Costanza

On the county's application, which was signed by Fox, ...three sentences...

..."Pending application approval," Guilford County's response stated,

"the County will find a suitable location.

The County has several properties which may be considered in the location process."

..."If successful, the County may consider including property tax collection at the same location as the LPA [License Plate Agency.]"

Those three sentences constituted the entirety of Guilford County's answers on the application.

Why not open the oppurtunity up to multiples of vendors
creating multiples more jobs
and multiples of tenents for commercial real estate?

...if the DMV is looking for applicants that have shown a history of prudence in financial affairs and have a sterling reputation created by a lack of scandals, it's certainly unclear how in the world state officials came to the conclusion Guilford County fits that bill.

In Forsyth County, ...they didn't want Forsyth County competing with private businesses.

Government spending is the ultimate tax on the economy.

Milton Friedman
Economic Nobel Laureate

...a move by Forsyth County staff to open a license plate agency was viewed ...as the exact opposite of what county government should be doing – encouraging private enterprise and promoting business in the county, not...displacing it by expanding government.

Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow said ...Guilford County should be promoting private enterprise rather than swooping in to a business it hasn't been in before and running an office that's almost always handled by private providers in other parts of the state.

Why not open the oppurtunity up to multiples of vendors
creating multiples more jobs
and multiples of tenents for commercial real estate?

...The state pays agencies – whether run by a local government or a private contractor – $1.43 per standard transaction such as a plate renewal. The state's license plate office contractors get $1.27 for collecting the "highway use tax" on newly purchased vehicles, which is the sales tax, or 3 percent that must be paid to the state when a vehicle is bought. For most title work, the state pays the office $1 for each transaction.

...Guilford County sent a high-powered contingent to its interview in Raleigh to make the county's case for the office. That entourage consisted of Fox, Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis, Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne and the county's Assistant Tax Director Greg French.

...Yow stated he had heard initial estimates that, with benefits, each license plate office employee will cost the county $48,000 annually, with the office manager likely costing the county over $60,000 a year.

...Chavis said one consideration in determining the proposed county salaries paid had to do with the existing county pay structure and the fact that the new employees would fall under the Guilford County Tax Department.

Chavis said the license plate office operators would have a minimum salary of $25,000 – the salary of an office specialist in the department – and the license office manager salary offered by the county will start at a minimum of $31,000. Those are the minimum salaries and the county's attractive benefits package and retirement plan bump those wages up to the range Yow cited.

Chavis gave his rationale for using $25,000 and $31,000 as starting salary levels. "This is the lowest level entry position in the Tax Department—an office specialist," Chavis said.

...While Yow clearly opposes the move and several commissioners say they simply don't know enough yet because staff hasn't kept them informed, at least one commissioner is very gung ho on the idea: Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he likes the prospects.

"I think it's a great idea," Alston said.

Statements by high officials are practically always misleading,
when they are designed to bolster a falling market.

Gerald M. Loeb

...The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss the license plate office idea for the first time on Thursday, Jan. 19, their first regular meeting of 2012."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the discussion will occur after the county has been selected? Is that bass ackwards?