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SB379 SUB1 Senate Bill 379 History

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 379

(By Senators Miller, Blair, Boley, Cann, Cookman, Fitzsimmons, Kirkendoll, Stollings, Snyder, Kessler (Mr. President) and Plymale)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;

reported February 12, 2014.]

____________

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §7-7-3, §7-7-4 and §7-7-6b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to counties; reclassifying counties from ten classes to five classes; increasing the salaries of county commissioners and elected county officials; clarifying that the salary increases for county commissioners and elected county officials take effect with the new term of office; authorizing an automatic salary increase every two years; clarifying that the automatic salary increases only take effect with the new term of office; providing that the State Auditor shall not be held liable for relying upon information and data provided by a county commission in certifying a county’s annual budget; and clarifying assessors’ additional compensation classifications.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §7-7-3, §7-7-4 and §7-7-6b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. COMPENSATION OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIALS.

§7-7-3. Classification of counties for purpose of determining compensation of elected county officials.

    (a) Effective July 1, 1996, and thereafter, for the purpose of determining the compensation of elected county officials, the counties of the State of West Virginia will be grouped into ten classes based on their assessed valuation of property, all classes. These ten classes and the minimum and maximum valuation of property, all classes, established to determine the classification of each county are as follows:

                  Minimum Assessed      Maximum Assessed

               Valuation of Property Valuation of Property

Class                All Classes           All Classes

Class I           $ 2,000,000,000              No Limit

Class II          $ 1,500,000,000       $ 1,999,999,999

Class III         $ 1,000,000,000       $ 1,499,999,999

Class IV            $ 700,000,000         $ 999,999,999

Class V             $ 600,000,000         $ 699,999,999

Class VI            $ 500,000,000         $ 599,999,999

Class VII           $ 400,000,000         $ 499,999,999

Class VIII          $ 300,000,000         $ 399,999,999

Class IX            $ 200,000,000         $ 299,999,999

Class X                      $-0-         $ 199,999,999

    (b) Effective July 1, 2016, and thereafter, for the purpose of determining the compensation of elected county officials, the counties of the State of West Virginia will be grouped into five classes based on their assessed valuation of property. These five classes and the minimum and maximum valuation of property, all classes, established to determine the classification of each county are as follows:

                  Minimum Assessed      Maximum Assessed

               Valuation of Property Valuation of Property

Class                All Classes           All Classes

Class I           $ 8,000,000,000              No Limit

Class II          $ 2,000,000,000       $ 7,999,999,999

Class III           $ 600,000,000       $ 1,999,999,999

Class IV            $ 400,000,000         $ 599,999,999

Class V                      $-0-         $ 399,999,999

    (b) (c) The assessed valuation of property, all classes, that shall be used as the base to determine the class of a county shall be the assessed valuation of property, all classes, of the county as certified by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk prior to March 29, 1996.

    (c) (d) Prior to March 29, 1998, and each second year thereafter, the county commission of each county, shall determine if the assessed valuation of property, all classes, of the county, as certified by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk is within the minimum and maximum limits of a class above or below the class in which the county then is the county’s current classification. If the county commission so determines, it shall record the new classification of the county with the State Auditor and State Tax Commissioner and record its action on its county commission record.

    (d) (e) The classification of each county shall be is subject to review by the State Auditor. He or she shall determine if the classification of each county is correct based on the final assessed valuation of property, all classes, certified to him or her by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk. If he or she finds that a county is incorrectly classified, he or she shall notify the county commission of that county promptly of his or her finding and in any case shall notify the county prior to June 30 of that current fiscal year. Any county commission so notified shall correct its classification immediately and make any necessary corrections in the salaries of its elected county officials for the next fiscal year.

    (e) (f) Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, whenever any other provision of this code refers to classifications of counties for purposes of imposing any right, duty or responsibility, the classification system set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be utilized for determining the classification of a particular county.

§7-7-4. Compensation of elected county officials and county commissioners for each class of county; effective date.

    (1) (a) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this subsection section on and after July 1, 2006, are set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) subsections (j) and (l) of this subsection section. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to, or on or after July 1, 2006, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of the legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

    (b) On or after July 1, 2016, the salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this section are set out in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this section: Provided, That the salaries set out in subsections (c), (d) and (e) shall not take effect until the county commissioners’ or elected county officials’ new term of office.

    (c)                COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

              Class I                 $42,000

              Class II                $41,000

              Class III               $40,000

              Class IV                $31,000

              Class V                 $28,000

    (d)           OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit             Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk    Clerk    Assessor  Attorney

Class I      $51,000  $63,000  $63,000  $51,000   $109,000

Class II     $50,000  $62,000  $62,000  $50,000   $108,000

Class III    $49,000  $61,000  $61,000  $49,000   $105,000

Class IV     $48,000  $55,000  $55,000  $48,000   $ 95,000

Class V      $47,000  $54,000  $54,000  $47,000   $ 93,000

Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor or sheriff of a Class I through Class III county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class IV through Class V county, inclusive, shall devote full-time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment: Provided, That any public official, whose term of office begins when his or her county’s classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities, may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected. 

    (e) Notwithstanding provisions of the Code to this contrary, on or after July 1, 2016, any prosecutor that is employed by a county on a part-time basis shall be paid a salary of $57,500.

    (f) Beginning July 1, 2018, and every two years thereafter, the county commissioners and the other elected county officials of each county shall receive a salary increase equal to three percent of the county commissioner’s or elected county official’s salary during the preceding year so long as the requirements of subsection (g) of this section are met: Provided, That the salary increase does not take effect until the new term of office for the county commissioner or elected county official.

    (2) (g) Before the increased salaries, as set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection provided for in subsection (f), are paid to the county commissioners and the elected county officials, the following requirements must be met:

    (A) (1) The Auditor has certified that the proposed annual county budget for the fiscal year beginning the first days of July 1, 2006, has increased over the previous fiscal year in an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries, set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection section, and the related employment taxes: Provided, That the Auditor may not approve the budget certification for any proposed annual county budget containing anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the previous year. For purposes of this subdivision subsection, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants: Provided, further, That the Auditor shall not be held liable for relying upon information and data provided by a county commission in certifying that county’s annual budget; and

    (B) (2) Each county commissioner or other elected county official, described in this subsection section, in office on the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection section, who desires to receive the increased salary has, prior to that date, filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission his or her written agreement to accept the salary increase. The salary for the person who holds the office of county commissioner or other elected county official, described in this subsection section, who fails to file the written agreement as required by this paragraph, shall be is the salary for that office in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection section until the person vacates the office or his or her term of office expires, whichever first occurs.

    (3) (h) If there is an insufficient projected increase in revenues to pay the increased salaries and the related employment taxes, then the salaries of that county’s elected officials and commissioners shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.

    (4) (i) In any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of that county may be paid less than the minimum salary limits of the county commission for that particular class of the county.

    (5) (j)           COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                 Class I               $36,960

                 Class II              $36,300

                 Class III             $35,640

                 Class IV              $34,980

                 Class V               $34,320

                 Class VI              $28,380

                 Class VII             $27,720

                 Class VIII            $25,080

                 Class IX              $24,420

                 Class X               $19,800

    (6) (k) For the purpose of determining the salaries to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the salaries for each county office by class, set out in subdivision (7) subsection (l) of this subsection section, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the salaries of each of their county officials other than salaries of members of the county commission.

    (7) (l)       OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit             Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk    Clerk    Assessor  Attorney

Class I      $44,880  $55,440  $55,440  $44,880   $ 96,600

Class II     $44,220  $54,780  $54,780  $44,220   $ 94,400

Class III    $43,890  $53,460  $53,460  $43,890   $ 92,200

Class IV     $43,560  $53,154  $53,154  $43,560   $ 90,000

Class V      $43,230  $52,800  $52,800  $43,230   $ 87,800

Class VI     $42,900  $49,500  $49,500  $42,900   $ 59,400

Class VII    $42,570  $48,840  $48,840  $42,570   $ 56,760

Class VIII   $42,240  $48,180  $48,180  $42,240   $ 54,120

Class IX     $41,910  $47,520  $47,520  $41,910   $ 50,160

Class X      $38,280  $42,240  $42,240  $38,280   $ 46,200

    (8) (m) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor or sheriff of a Class I through Class V county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class VI through Class IX county, inclusive, shall devote full-time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment: Provided, That any public official, whose term of office begins when his or her county’s classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities, may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.

§7-7-6b. Additional compensation of assessors according to county classification.

    (a) For the purpose of determining the additional compensation to be paid to the county assessor of each county for the additional duties provided by section six-a of this article, the following compensations for each county assessor by class, as provided in section three of this article, are hereby established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the compensation of each county assessor: For assessors in Class I - V counties, inclusive, $15,000; for assessors in Class VI and VII counties, $10,000; for assessors in Class VIII and IX counties, $9,000; and for assessors in Class X counties, $6,500.

    (b) Beginning July 1, 2016, for the purpose of determining the additional compensation to be paid to the county assessor of each county for the additional duties provided by section six-a of this article, the following compensations for each county assessor by class, as provided in section three of this article, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the compensation of each county assessor:

    (1) For assessors in Class I - III counties, inclusive, $15,000;

    (2) For assessors in Class IV counties, $10,000; and

    (3) For assessors in Class V counties, $9,000.

 

 

 

 

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