Archive for Friday, December 27, 2013

Douglas County treasurer says commercial vehicles will have to register elsewhere

Douglas County Courthouse

Douglas County Courthouse

December 27, 2013

The owners of commercial vehicles in Douglas County will have to register those vehicles in another county to meet the Feb. 28, 2014 deadline, Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist said Thursday.

Gilchrist said the combination of a law taking effect Jan. 1, 2014, and new state computer system that will not be available until the first of the year led her to decide not to do commercial vehicle registrations for 2014. The nearest counties to get this year's registrations will be Shawnee or Johnson, she said.

"We just really haven't had the manpower," to accommodate the changes, Gilchrist said.

She said memories of the headaches from the roll out of the state's new motor vehicle system in 2012 are fresh in her mind, and she wants the state to work out the bugs in the new commercial vehicle system before her office takes up the task.

In 2012, many counties, including Douglas, experienced long processing delays when the new $40 million computer upgrade for vehicle registrations was installed.

The newest change affecting commercial motor vehicles stems from the Kansas Legislature approving and Gov. Sam Brownback signing into law a bill that says starting Jan. 1, 2014, commercial vehicles will no longer pay a property tax but instead will pay a Commercial Vehicle fee when registering. A commercial vehicle is generally one that weighs more than 10,000 pounds that is used to transport property or passengers.

The process will use the new Kansas Commercial Vehicle Registration System software.

In a recent email, Lisa Kaspar, director of vehicles for the Kansas Department of Revenue, told county treasurers, "If your county has elected to not offer this service, you will direct customers to the nearest county office."

In addition to Douglas County, more than 30 other of Kansas' 105 counties will not be offering the commercial motor vehicle service.

Gilchrist said earlier notices from the state said the deadline for commercial vehicles to register was Dec. 31. But, she said, that was incorrect and the correct deadline is Feb. 28, 2014.

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