Treasurer’s Office to increase facility fee

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A fee charged to people who renew their vehicle registrations at the Leavenworth County Courthouse and county annex building will increase after the first of the year.

County Treasurer Janice Van Parys said the facility fee is being increased to $5, which is the maximum amount allowed by state law.

Van Parys said the increase brings Leavenworth County in line with other large counties in the state.

The Leavenworth County Treasurer’s Office has been charging a $1 facility fee for vehicle registration transactions at the Leavenworth County Courthouse, which is located in Leavenworth, and $2 for vehicle registration transactions at the county annex in Tonganoxie.

Van Parys said the fee is being increased because of a loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Van Parys said the facility fee was created as the result of legislation passed in 2013.

She said state lawmakers gave county treasurers the authority to charge the fee as a way to increase revenue.

Van Parys said the Kansas County Treasurers Association has advocated for legislation that would create a fixed statewide facility fee which would appear on statements people receive in the mail.

People who renew their registration online or by mail do not have to pay the facility fee.

“I don’t personally agree with how it’s done because I think it discourages people from coming to our courthouse,” Van Parys said.

She said her office does not incur additional expenses when people renew their registrations in person.

But her office has additional expenses when people renew by mail or online because materials have to be mailed back.

“We have to pay postage on all of that,” she said.

She said the way the law was written “really makes no sense.”

During a COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year, all vehicle registration transactions in Leavenworth County were being conducted through the mail or online.

“It just blew our budget,” Van Parys said.

Not knowing what the future will bring, Van Parys said her office has to be proactive.

The facility fee increase is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 4. The $5 fee will be charged at both the Leavenworth County Courthouse and annex.

People wanting to renew their registrations before the end of December will need to do so by today. The Leavenworth County Treasurer’s Office will be closed Thursday to handle close-out business for 2020.

The Treasurer’s Office and other county offices will be closed Friday for New Year’s Day.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR