In 2012 with the implementation of the new State Motor Vehicle Software, Kansas Counties were given the additional responsibility of title approval along with multiple process changes in Motor Vehicle Departments. Butler County Treasurer Ruth Fechter was hopeful after 1 year of working with the new system the proclaimed “efficiency” of the new system would make up for the additional tasks/process delegated down to the county level from the State, and Butler County could maintain their current staff level along with improving the customer wait time.
One year has now passed. The wait times have not improved and the additional workload continues to keep the current staff overloaded, leading to upset customers who continue to spend hours of their time trying to tag vehicles.
Motor Vehicle expenses are not funded by advalorem tax dollars but instead are funded by fees set by the State of Kansas. The 2013 legislature recognized the additional expenses at the county level and the need for additional income to meet those expenses. They adopted legislation allowing the County Treasurer in counties with 2 or more facilities to implement a $2 -$5 transaction fee at each location to offset additional expenses incurred from the implementation of the new software and processes moved to the county level from the State. Ruth Fechter Butler County Treasurer stated, “Reluctantly after much consideration and calculation, we have determined additional staff is needed to improve customer service and decrease the waiting time for processing motor vehicle transactions. Therefore, to meet the additional expense a $3.00 Facility Fee will be implemented September 1st to walk in Title and Renewal transactions at the Courthouse and the current $2.00 fee at the Western Office will be raised to $3.00.”
Ms. Fechter further stated, with implementation of the facility fee at the Historic Courthouse and increasing the fee at the Western office staff will be added in October to cut down the wait time for customers. If improvements are made that expedite the renewal and new vehicle registration process, the Treasurer’s office will reevaluate the need for the additional fee and adjust staffing as needed.