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Introduced Version Senate Bill 96 History

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Senate Bill No. 96

(By Senators Laird, Miller, Plymale, Browning, Unger and D. Facemire)

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[Introduced January 17, 2011; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to repeal §7-7-4a and §7-7-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §7-7-2, §7-7-3, §7-7-4, §7-7-6b, §7-7-6d, §7-7-7, §7-7-7a, §7-7-9, §7-7-11, §7-7-12, §7-7-13, §7-7-14, §7-7-15, §7-7-16, §7-7-16a and §7-7-20 of said code, all relating generally to eliminating outmoded language concerning compensation of county elected officials by certain county classes; requiring all prosecuting attorneys

on January 1, 2013, to be full time while providing an exception for those currently part time; repealing the requirement that the compensation of certain county employees be in compliance with the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970; transferring some training program responsibilities and valuation classification of property responsibilities from the state Tax Commissioner to the State Auditor; authorizing the state Tax Commissioner and State Auditor to establish training programs for certain employees; removing the limitations on food, lodging, registration fees and mileage on authorized training; eliminating the outdated property valuations used to determine the compensation of elected county officials; permitting a county sheriff to turn over an impounded dog to the local humane society instead of killing it; eliminating references to a county position that no longer exists; and removing the limitation of the costs for the housing and feeding of prisoners in counties having a population of thirty thousand or less.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §7-7-4a and §7-7-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; and that §7-7-2, §7-7-3, §7-7-4, §7-7-6b, §7-7-6d, §7-7-7, §7-7-7a, §7-7-9, §7-7-11, §7-7-12, §7-7-13, §7-7-14, §7-7-15, §7-7-16, §7-7-16a and §7-7-20 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. COMPENSATION OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIALS.

§7-7-2. Establishment of county in-service training programs; further additional duties for prosecuting attorney in any county in excess of two hundred thousand.

    There is hereby established county in-service training programs as hereinafter set forth.

    The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs as in his or her opinion will do most to assist the prosecuting attorneys in the performance of their duties. The Attorney General is authorized to accept any federal aid which may be made available or any financial assistance which may be available from any private nonprofit organization for the purposes of this section. The prosecuting attorney in any county having a population in excess of two hundred thousand shall also discharge the additional duties imposed upon him or her by the provisions of section thirteen-a, article five, chapter forty-nine of this code.

    The State Tax Commissioner Auditor is hereby authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for county commissioners, county clerks, circuit clerks, assessors, sheriffs and their assistants and employees as in his or her opinion will do most to modernize and improve the services of their respective offices. The State Auditor in conjunction with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for circuit clerks and their assistants and employees. The State Tax Commissioner is authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for assessors and their assistants and employees. The State Tax Commissioner, State Auditor and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is are authorized to accept any federal aid which may be made available or any financial assistance which may be available from any private nonprofit organization for the purpose of this article.

    Each of the county officials mentioned in this section, and, at his or her option, one or more of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, shall participate in the programs established under this section.

    The county court commission is authorized and directed to expend funds for the purpose of reimbursing such officials and employees for the actual amount expended by them for food, lodging and registration while in attendance at meetings called by the Attorney General or the Tax Commissioner authorized training for the purpose of this section. not to exceed $35 per day, with mileage not to exceed the rate of ten cents per mile to be computed according to the distance by the nearest practicable route for travel to and from such meetings.

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

    (a) For the purpose of determining the compensation of elected county officials, the counties of the State of West Virginia are hereby grouped into seven classes based on their assessed valuation of property, all classes. These seven 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          $600,000,000            No Limit

Class II         $450,000,000            $599,999,999

Class III        $200,000,000            $449,999,999

Class IV         $100,000,000            $199,999,999

Class V          $ 50,000,000            $ 99,999,999

Class VI         $ 15,000,000            $ 49,999,999

Class VII        $ 0            $ 14,999,999

    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, 1972.

    Prior to March 29, 1974, and each second year thereafter, the county court [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. If the county court 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 court [county commission] record.

    The classification of each county shall be subject to review by the State Tax Commissioner. He The State Tax Commissioner 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 the State Tax Commissioner finds that a county is incorrectly classified, he the State Tax Commissioner shall notify the county court [county commission] of that county promptly of his or her finding and in any case shall notify the county court prior to June 30 of that current fiscal year. Any county court [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. Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing an increase in compensation except at such time as the affected county officer begins a new term of office.

    (b) 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

    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.

    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. 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.

    The classification of each county shall be subject to review by the state Tax Commission 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.

    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.

    (a)(1) All county commissioners shall be paid compensation out of the county treasury in amounts and according to the schedule set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection for each class of county as determined by the provisions of section three of this article: Provided, That as to any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of the county may be paid less than the minimum compensation limits of the county commission for the particular class of such county.

                 (2) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

              Class I              $20,000

              Class II             $15,500

              Class III            $14,000

              Class IV             $10,000

              Class V              $ 7,000

              Class VI             $ 4,000

    (3) The compensation, set out in subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1985, to each county commissioner. Within each county, every county commissioner whose term of office commenced prior to January 1, 1985, shall receive the same annual compensation as commissioners commencing a term of office on or after that date by virtue of the new duties imposed upon county commissioners pursuant to the provisions of chapter fifteen, acts of the Legislature, first extraordinary session, 1983.

    (4) For the purpose of determining the compensation to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the compensations for each office by class, set out in subdivision (5) of this subsection, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the compensation of each of their county officials other than compensation of members of the county commission.

(5) OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                      County     Circuit          Prosecuting

           Sheriff     Clerk      Clerk   assessor Attorney

Class I    $24,200    $31,300    $31,300  $24,200    $41,500

Class II   $24,200    $28,000    $28,000  $24,200    $39,500

Class III  $24,200    $28,000    $28,000  $24,200    $30,000

Class IV   $22,300    $24,000    $24,000  $22,300    $26,500

Class V    $20,400    $22,000    $22,000  $20,400    $23,500

Class VI   $17,200    $17,200    $17,200  $17,200    $17,000

    (6) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, county assessor, sheriff and prosecuting attorney of a Class I county, any assessor of a Class II and Class III county, any sheriff of a Class II and Class III county and any prosecuting attorney of a Class II county 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, shall not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected. The compensation, set out in subdivision (5) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1985, to each elected county official.

    (7) In the case of a county that has a joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, the compensation of the joint clerk shall be fixed in an amount twenty-five percent higher than the compensation would be fixed for the county clerk if it had separate offices of county clerk and circuit clerk.

    (8) The Legislature finds that the duties imposed upon county clerks by the provisions of chapter sixty-four, Acts of the Legislature, regular session, 1982, and by chapter fifteen, Acts of the Legislature, first extraordinary session, 1983, constitute new and additional duties for county clerks and as such justify the additional compensation provided in this section without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (9) The Legislature further finds that the duties imposed upon circuit clerks by the provisions of chapters sixty-one and one hundred eighty-two, Acts of the Legislature, 1981 regular session, and by chapter sixty, Acts of the Legislature, 1983 regular session, constitute new and additional duties for circuit clerks and as such justify the additional compensation provided by this section without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (b)(1) Prior to the primary election in the year 1992, and for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1992, or for any subsequent fiscal year if the approval, set out in subdivision (2) of this subsection, is not granted for any fiscal year, and at least thirty days prior to the meeting to approve the county budget, the commission shall provide notice to the public of the date and time of the meeting and that the purpose of the meeting of the county commission is to decide upon their budget certification to the Auditor.

    (2) Upon submission by the county commission to the Auditor of a proposed annual budget which contains anticipated receipts into the county’s General Revenue Fund, less anticipated moneys from the unencumbered fund balance, equal to anticipated receipts into the county’s General Revenue Fund, less anticipated moneys from the unencumbered fund balance and any federal or state special grants, for the immediately preceding fiscal year, plus such additional amount as is necessary for payment of the increases in the salaries set out in subdivisions (3) and (5) of this subsection, and related employment taxes over that paid for the immediately preceding fiscal year, and upon approval thereof by the Auditor, which approval shall not be granted for any proposed annual budget containing anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the immediately preceding fiscal year, for the purpose of determining the compensation to be paid to the elected county officials of each county office by class are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the compensation of each of their county officials: Provided, That as to any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of the county may be paid less than the minimum compensation limits of the county commission for the particular class of the county.

(3) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

              Class I                 $24,000

              Class II                $18,600

              Class III               $16,800

              Class IV                $12,000

              Class V                 $ 8,400

    (4) If the approval, set out in subdivision (2) of this subsection, is granted, the compensation, set out in subdivision (3) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1993, to each county commissioner. Within each county, every county commissioner shall receive the same annual compensation by virtue of the new duties imposed upon county commissioners pursuant to the provisions of chapter one hundred seventy-two, Acts of the Legislature, second regular session, 1990 and chapter five, Acts of the Legislature, third extraordinary session, 1990.

(5) OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                      County     Circuit          Prosecuting

           Sheriff     Clerk      Clerk   assessor   Attorney

Class I    $29,040    $37,560    $37,560  $29,040    $59,500

Class II   $29,040    $33,600    $33,600  $29,040    $59,500

Class III  $29,040    $33,600    $33,600  $29,040    $36,000

Class IV   $26,760    $28,800    $28,800  $26,760    $31,800

Class V    $24,480    $26,400    $26,400  $24,480    $28,200

Class VI   $24,480    $26,400    $26,400  $24,480    $28,200

    (6) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, county assessor, sheriff and prosecuting attorney of a Class I county, any assessor of a Class II and Class III county, any sheriff of a Class II and Class III county and any prosecuting attorney of a Class II county 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, shall not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected. If the approval, set out in subdivision (2) of this subsection, is granted, the compensation, set out in subdivision (5) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1993, to each elected county official.

    (7) In the case of a county that has a joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, the compensation of the joint clerk shall be fixed in an amount twenty-five percent higher than the compensation would be fixed for the county clerk if it had separate offices of county clerk and circuit clerk.

    (8) Prior to the primary election in the year 1992, in the case of a Class III, Class IV or Class V county which has a part-time prosecuting attorney, the county commission may find that such facts and circumstances exist that require the prosecuting attorney to devote full-time to his or her public duties for the four-year term, beginning January 1, 1993. If the county commission makes such a finding, it may by proper order adopted and entered, require the prosecuting attorney who takes office on January 1, 1993, to devote full-time to his or her public duties and the county commission shall then compensate said prosecuting attorney at the same rate of compensation as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class II county.

    (9) For any county: (A) Which on and after July 1, 1994, is classified as a Class II county; and (B) which prior to such date was classified as a Class III, Class IV or Class V county and maintained a part-time prosecuting attorney, the county commission may elect to maintain the prosecuting attorney as a part-time prosecuting attorney: Provided, That prior to January 1, 1996, the county commission shall make a finding, by proper order and entered, whether to maintain a full-time or part-time prosecuting attorney. The part-time prosecuting attorney shall be compensated at the same rate of compensation as that of a prosecuting attorney in the class for the county prior to being classified as a Class II county.

    (c)(1) Prior to the primary election in the year 1996, and for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1996, or for any subsequent fiscal year if the approval, set out in subdivision (2) of this subsection, is not granted for any fiscal year, and at least thirty days prior to the meeting to approve the county budget, the commission shall provide notice to the public of the date and time of the meeting and that the purpose of the meeting of the county commission is to decide upon their budget certification to the Auditor.

    (2) Upon submission by the county commission to the Auditor of a proposed annual budget which contains anticipated receipts into the county's General Revenue Fund, less anticipated moneys from the unencumbered fund balance, equal to anticipated receipts into the county's General Revenue Fund, less anticipated moneys from the unencumbered fund balance and any federal or state special grants, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1996, plus such additional amount as is necessary for payment of the increases in the salaries set out in subdivisions (3) and (6) of this subsection, and related employment taxes over that paid for the immediately preceding fiscal year, and upon approval thereof by the Auditor, which approval shall not be granted for any proposed annual budget containing anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the immediately preceding fiscal year for the purpose of determining the compensation to be paid to the elected county officials of each county office by class are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining whether county revenues are sufficient to pay the compensation mandated herein for their county officials: Provided, That as to any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of the county may be paid less than the minimum compensation limits of the county commission for the particular class of the county: Provided, however, That should there be an insufficient projected increase in revenues to pay the increased compensation and related employment taxes, then the compensation of that county's elected officials shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.

(3) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

              Class I                 $28,000

              Class II                $27,500

              Class III               $27,000

              Class IV                $26,500

              Class V                 $26,000

              Class VI                $21,500

              Class VII               $21,000

              Class VIII              $19,000

              Class IX                $18,500

              Class X                 $15,000

    (4) The compensation, set out in subdivision (3) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1997, to each county commissioner. Every county commissioner in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after January 1, 1997, shall receive the same annual compensation by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

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

(6) OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                     County   Circuit              Prosecuting

            Sheriff   Clerk    Clerk    assessor     Attorney

Class I     $34,000  $42,000  $42,000   $34,000      $76,000

Class II    $33,500  $41,500  $41,500   $33,500      $74,000

Class III   $33,250  $40,500  $40,500   $33,250      $72,000

Class IV    $33,000  $40,250  $40,250   $33,000      $70,000

Class V     $32,750  $40,000  $40,000   $32,750      $68,000

Class VI    $32,500  $37,500  $37,500   $32,500      $45,000

Class VII   $32,250  $37,000  $37,000   $32,250      $43,000

Class VIII  $32,000  $36,500  $36,500   $32,000      $41,000

Class IX    $31,750  $36,000  $36,000   $31,750      $38,000

Class X     $29,000  $32,000  $32,000   $29,000      $35,000

    (7) The compensation, set out in subdivision (6) of this subsection, shall be paid on and after January 1, 1997, to each elected county official. Any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, 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, shall not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.

    (8) In the case of a county that has a joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, the compensation of the joint clerk shall be fixed in an amount twenty-five percent higher than the compensation would be fixed for the county clerk if it had separate offices of county clerk and circuit clerk.

    (9) Any prosecuting attorney of a Class I 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 county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and elected to maintain a part-time prosecutor may continue to maintain a part-time prosecutor, until such time as the county commission, on request of the part-time prosecutor, approves and makes a finding, by proper order entered, that the prosecuting attorney shall devote full-time to his or her public duties. The county commission shall then compensate said prosecuting attorney at the same rate of compensation as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided, however, That any county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and which did not elect to maintain a part-time prosecutor shall maintain a full-time prosecuting attorney and shall compensate said prosecuting attorney at the same rate of compensation as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided further, That, until January 1, 2001, when a vacancy occurs in the office of prosecuting attorney prior to the end of a term, the county commission of a Class IV or Class V county may elect to allow the position to become part-time for the end of that term, and thereafter the position of prosecuting attorney shall become full-time.

    (d)(1) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this subsection on and after July 1, 2002, are set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after July 1, 2002, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

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

    (A) The Auditor has certified that the proposed annual county budget for the fiscal year beginning the first days of July, 2002, 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, 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, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants; and

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

    (3) 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) 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) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                 Class I               $30,800

                 Class II              $30,250

                 Class III             $29,700

                 Class IV              $29,150

                 Class V               $28,600

                 Class VI              $23,650

                 Class VII             $23,100

                 Class VIII            $20,900

                 Class IX              $20,350

                 Class X               $16,500

    (6) 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) of this subsection, 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) OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit            Prosecuting

             Sheriff   Clerk    Clerk   assessor  Attorney

Class I      $37,400  $46,200  $46,200  $37,400  $83,600

Class II     $36,850  $45,650  $45,650  $36,850  $81,400

Class III    $36,575  $44,550  $44,550  $36,575  $79,200

Class IV     $36,300  $44,295  $44,295  $36,300  $77,000

Class V      $36,025  $44,000  $44,000  $36,025  $74,800

Class VI     $35,750  $41,250  $41,250  $35,750  $49,500

Class VII    $35,475  $40,700  $40,700  $35,475  $47,300

Class VIII   $35,200  $40,150  $40,150  $35,200  $45,100

Class IX     $34,925  $39,600  $39,600  $34,925  $41,800

Class X      $31,900  $35,200  $35,200  $31,900  $38,500

    (8) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, 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.

    (9) In the case of a county that has a joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, the salary of the joint clerk shall be fixed in an amount twenty-five percent higher than the salary would be fixed for the county clerk if it had separate offices of county clerk and circuit clerk.

    (10) Any prosecuting attorney of a Class I 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 county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and elected to maintain a part-time prosecutor may continue to maintain a part-time prosecutor, until such time as the county commission, on request of the part-time prosecutor, approves and makes a finding, by proper order entered, that the prosecuting attorney shall devote full-time to his or her public duties. The county commission shall then compensate said prosecutor at the same salary as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided, however, That any county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and which did not elect to maintain a part-time prosecutor shall maintain a full-time prosecuting attorney and shall compensate said prosecuting attorney at the same salary as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided further, That, until January 1, 2003, when a vacancy occurs in the office of prosecuting attorney prior to the end of a term, the county commission of a Class IV or Class V county may elect to allow the position to become part-time for the end of that term and thereafter the position of prosecuting attorney shall become full-time: And provided further, That a prosecuting attorney for a Class VI county which subsequently becomes a Class V county on or before July 1, 2010, may continue as a part-time attorney, and continue to be compensated at the Class VI county level, until such time as determined by the prosecuting attorney and the county commission that a full-time prosecuting attorney is needed.

    (e) (1) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this subsection on and after July 1, 2006, are set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection. 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 legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

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

    (A) The Auditor has certified that the proposed annual county budget for the fiscal year beginning the first days of July, 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, 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, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants; and

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

    (3) 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) 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) 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) 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) of this subsection, 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) 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) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, 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.

    (9) In the case of a county that has a joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, the salary of the joint clerk shall be fixed in an amount twenty-five percent higher than the salary would be fixed for the county clerk if it had separate offices of county clerk and circuit clerk.

    (10) (9) Any prosecuting attorney of a Class I 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 county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and elected to maintain a part-time prosecutor may continue to maintain a part-time prosecutor, until such time as the county commission, on request of the part-time prosecutor, approves and makes a finding, by proper order entered, that the prosecuting attorney shall devote full-time to his or her public duties. The county commission shall then compensate said prosecutor at the same salary as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided, however, That any county which under the prior provisions of this section was classified as a Class II county and which did not elect to maintain a part-time prosecutor shall maintain a full-time prosecuting attorney and shall compensate said prosecuting attorney at the same salary as that of a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county: Provided further, That a prosecuting attorney for a Class VI county which subsequently becomes a Class V county on or before July 1, 2010, may continue as a part-time attorney, and continue to be compensated at the Class VI county level, until such time as determined by the prosecuting attorney and the county commission that a full-time prosecuting attorney is needed. However, effective January 1, 2013, all county prosecuting attorneys shall devote full-time to his or her public duties: Provided, That any currently serving part-time prosecutor may continue in the part-time capacity until he or she leaves office.

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

    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; for assessors in Class X counties, $6,500.

    Notwithstanding this section or any other section of the code to the contrary, in no event shall the additional compensation paid to the county assessors for performance of additional duties as provided in section six-a of this article be less than the additional compensation such county assessors received on January 1, 1976.

§7-7-6d. Collection of head tax on dogs; duties of assessor and sheriff; registration of dogs; disposition of head tax; taxes on dogs not collected by assessor.

    It shall be the duty of the county assessor and his the assessor’s deputies of each county within the state, at the time they are making assessment of the personal property within such county, to assess and collect a head tax of $1 on each male or spayed female dog and of $2 on each unspayed female dog; and in addition to the above, the assessor and his the assessor’s deputies shall have the further duty of collecting any such head tax on dogs as may be levied by the ordinances of each and every municipality within the county. In the event that the owner, keeper, or person having in his or her possession or allowing to remain on any premises under his or her control any dog above the age of six months, shall refuse or fail to pay such tax, when the same is assessed or within fifteen days thereafter, to the assessor or deputy assessor, then such assessor or deputy assessor shall certify such tax to the county dog warden; if there be no county dog warden he or she shall certify such tax to the county sheriff, who shall take charge of the dog for which the tax is delinquent and impound the same for a period of fifteen days, for which service he or she shall be allowed a fee of $1.50 to be charged against such delinquent taxpayer in addition to the taxes herein provided for. In case the tax and impounding charge herein provided for shall not have been paid within the period of fifteen days, then the sheriff may sell the impounded dog and deduct the impounding charge and the delinquent tax from the amount received therefor, and return the balance, if any, to the delinquent taxpayer. Should the sheriff fail to sell the dog so impounded within the time specified herein, he shall kill such dog and dispose of its body or she shall turn the animal over to the local humane society or similar organization.

    At the same time as the head tax is assessed, the assessor and his the assessor’s deputies shall, on the forms prescribed under section four, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code, take down the age, sex, color, character of hair (long or short) and breed (if known) and the name and address of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof. When the head tax, and extra charges, if any, are paid, the officer to whom payment is made shall issue a certificate of registration and a registration tag for such dog.

    In addition to the assessment and registration above provided for, whenever a dog either is acquired or becomes six months of age after the assessment of the personal property of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof, the said owner, keeper or harborer of said dog shall, within ten days after the acquisition or maturation, register the said dog with the assessor, and pay the head tax thereon unless the prior owner, keeper or harborer paid the head tax.

    All certificates of registration and registration tags issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the fiscal year and shall be valid from the date on which issued until June 30 of that fiscal year, or until reissued by the assessor or his the assessor’s deputy in the regular performance of his or her duties, but in no case shall previous registration tags be valid after September 30 of the next ensuing fiscal year.

    The assessor collecting the head tax on dogs shall be allowed a commission of ten percent upon all such taxes collected by him the assessor and shall turn in to the county treasurer ninety percent of such taxes so collected, as are levied by this section; and the assessor shall turn over to the treasurer or other proper officer of each and every municipality within the county ninety percent of such taxes levied by the ordinances of such municipality. All such dog taxes, except those belonging to municipalities, shall be accredited to the dog and kennel fund provided for in section ten, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code. Such dog taxes as are collected for and turned over to municipalities shall be deposited by the proper officer of such municipality to such fund and shall be expended in such manner as the law of such municipality may provide. All taxes on dogs not collected by the assessor shall be collected by the regular tax collecting officer of the county and placed to the credit of the dog and kennel fund.

§7-7-7. County assistants, deputies and employees; their number and compensation; county budget.

    The county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor and prosecuting attorney, by and with the advice and consent of the county commission, may appoint and employ, to assist them in the discharge of their official duties for and during their respective terms of office, assistants, deputies and employees. The county clerk may designate one or more of his or her assistants as responsible for all probate matters.

    The county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor and prosecuting attorney shall, prior to March 2 of each year, file with the county commission a detailed request for appropriations for anticipated or expected expenditures for their respective offices, including the compensation for their assistants, deputies and employees, for the ensuing fiscal year.

    The county commission shall, prior to the twenty-ninth day of March 29 of each year by order fix the total amount of money to be expended by the county for the ensuing fiscal year, which amount shall include the compensation of county assistants, deputies and employees. Each county commission shall enter its order upon its county commission record.

    The county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor and prosecuting attorney shall then fix the compensation of their assistants, deputies and employees based on the total amount of money designated for expenditure by their respective offices by the county commission and the amount expended shall not exceed the total expenditure designated by the county commission for each office.

    The county officials, in fixing the individual compensation of their assistants, deputies and employees and the county commission in fixing the total amount of money to be expended by the county, shall give due consideration to the duties, responsibilities and work required of the assistants, deputies and employees and their compensation shall be reasonable and proper.

    After the county commission has fixed the total amount of money to be expended by the county for the ensuing fiscal year and after each county official has fixed the compensation of each of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, as provided in this section, each county official shall file prior to June 30, with the clerk of the county commission, a budget statement for the ensuing fiscal year setting forth the name, or the position designation if then vacant, of each of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, the period of time for which each is employed, or to be employed if the position is then vacant, and his or her monthly or semimonthly compensation.

    All budget statements required to be filed by this section shall be verified by an affidavit by the county official making them. Among other things contained in the affidavit shall be the statement that the amounts shown in the budget statement are the amounts actually paid or intended to be paid to the assistants, deputies and employees without rebate, and without any agreement, understanding or expectation that any part thereof shall be repaid to him or her, and that, prior to the time the affidavit is made, nothing has been paid or promised him or her on that account, and that if he or she shall thereafter receive any money, or thing of value, on account thereof, he or she will account for and pay the same to the county. Until the statements required by this section have been filed, no allowance or payments shall be made to any county official or their assistants, deputies and employees.

    Each county official named in this section shall have the authority to discharge any of his or her assistants, deputies or employees by filing with the clerk of the county commission a discharge statement specifying the discharge action: Provided, That no deputy sheriff appointed pursuant to the provisions of article fourteen, chapter seven of this code, shall be discharged contrary to the provisions of that article.

§7-7-7a. Limit of budget expenditures.

    (a) No county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county commission and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor or prosecuting attorney may, without the approval of the county commission, spend or obligate, before the end of the calendar year, more than fifty percent of the funds allocated for his or her office in the fiscal year budget, in any fiscal year where the person holding the office is leaving office due to either resignation or the results of an election.

    (b) As used in subsection (a) of this section, “spend or obligate” includes, but is not limited to, increasing employee salaries to a level that would create a deficit in the budget if paid during the remainder of the fiscal year in addition to other anticipated expenditures.

§7-7-9. Procedure for payment of compensation.

    The compensation of the county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor, prosecuting attorney, and their assistants, deputies and employees shall be paid monthly or semimonthly by the county court, which compensation shall be paid out of the county treasury in the manner prescribed by law.

    The county court commission, after the filing of the budget statement specified in section seven of this article, may, by order of record, authorize and order a draft on the county treasurer, payable out of the general county fund, to be drawn in favor of the county official, assistant, deputy or employee named in this statement, in payment of the compensation to which the person is entitled.

    The draft shall not be issued to the county official, assistant, deputy or employee until the proper county official has filed a detailed monthly or semimonthly statement with the county treasurer and has filed with the county clerk a duplicate copy of the monthly or semimonthly statement, together with a receipt from the county treasurer, showing that the person to be paid has paid into the county treasury all moneys belonging to the county that have been collected by him or her during that pay period as shown by the monthly or semimonthly statement.

    When the order for the draft has been entered of record, the president and clerk of the county court shall be authorized to issue and approve by their signature the draft.

§7-7-11. Illegal orders for compensation.

    If any clerk shall issue and deliver a draft to any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of the county and circuit court, if any, sheriff, county assessor, prosecuting attorney, or any of their assistants, deputies or employees, in payment of their compensation, without all the applicable requirements of this article being complied with, the draft so issued and delivered shall be illegal and invalid. The clerk and the sureties on his or her bond shall be liable to the county court commission of his or her county for the payment thereof.

§7-7-12. Sharing compensation prohibited.

    No county official shall receive or be paid, directly or indirectly, any part of the compensation of any assistant, deputy or employee, or any fee or reward for appointing him or her to his or her position. No member of a county court commission shall receive or be paid, directly or indirectly, any part of the compensation of any other county officer named in this article, or of any county assistant, deputy or employee. If any county commissioner or county official violates the provisions of this section, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned. Any county commissioner or county official so convicted shall forfeit his or her office.

§7-7-13. Allowance for expenses of sheriff.

    The county commission of every county having a population of thirty thousand or less as determined by the latest official census available and which, as provided in section two-a, article eight of this chapter, has directed the sheriff as jailer to feed prisoners shall, in addition to his or her compensation, allow to the sheriff for keeping and feeding each prisoner, other than federal prisoners or prisoners held under civil process as provided by law, not more than $5 per day for each prisoner.

    The limitation per day shall not include cost of personal service, bed or bedding, soaps and disinfectants and items of like kind, the cost of which shall be paid out of the allowance fixed by the county commission under the provisions of present law.

    All supplies of whatever kind for keeping and feeding prisoners shall be purchased upon the requisition of the sheriff under rules prescribed by the county commission. At the end of each month the sheriff shall file with the county commission a detailed statement showing the name of each prisoner, date of commitment, date of discharge, the number of days in jail and an itemized statement showing each purchase and the cost for keeping and feeding prisoners.

    The county commission of every county shall allow the actual and necessary expenses incurred by the sheriff in the discharge of his or her duties including, but not limited to, those incurred in arresting, pursuing or transporting persons accused or convicted of crimes and offenses; in the cost of law-enforcement and safety equipment; in conveying or transporting a prisoner from and to jail to participate in court proceedings; and in conveying or transferring any person to or from any state institution where he or she may be committed from his or her county, where the sheriff is authorized to convey or transfer the person: Provided, That the law-enforcement agency that places a person under arrest shall be responsible for the person’s initial transportation to a regional or county jail, except where there is a preexisting agreement between the county and the political body the other law-enforcement agency serves. Any person transported to the regional jail as provided for by the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction for the offense causing his or her incarceration, pay the reasonable costs of the transportation. The money is to be collected by the court of conviction at the current mileage reimbursement rate. The county commission shall allow the actual and necessary expenses incurred in serving summonses, notices or other official papers in connection with the sheriff's office.

    Every sheriff shall file monthly, under oath, an accurate account of all the actual and necessary expenses incurred by him or her, his or her deputies, assistants and employees in the performance and discharge of their official duties supported by verified accounts before reimbursement thereof shall be allowed by the county commission. Reimbursement, properly allowed, shall be made from the general county fund.

§7-7-14. Training of sheriffs and deputies; payment of expenses thereof by county commission.

    The county court commission of each county is authorized, at its discretion, to expend from the general county fund, upon request and requisition by the sheriff of the county, the necessary and proper travel expenses, per diem allowance of not less than $3.50 per day and tuition expenses for the training of the sheriff and his or her deputies of the county in the performance of their duties, as sheriff and deputy. at any training school or academy available therefor located in this state.

§7-7-15. Allowance for expenses of prosecuting attorney.

    In addition to his or her compensation, the prosecuting attorney and his or her assistants shall be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses within the state in the performance of their official duties, and when out of the state for the purpose of taking depositions in cases in which other counsel is not employed by the court under section one, article three, chapter sixty-two of this code, which expenses shall be duly itemized and verified, and shall, if found correct, be allowed by the county court commission and be paid monthly out of the general county fund.

§7-7-16. Mileage allowance for county officials and employees.

    The county commission of each county shall allow to each county official and to their deputies, assistants and employees, when they are required to drive their personally owned vehicles in the actual performance and discharge of their official duties, reimbursement at a uniform rate for all individuals, not to exceed the rate set by the commissioner of finance and administration for state employees as approved by the county commission.

    Every county official shall file monthly, under oath, a full and accurate account of all the actual mileage driven by him or her, his or her deputies, assistants and employees, in the performance and discharge of their official duties supported by verified accounts before reimbursement thereof shall be allowed by the county commission. Reimbursement, properly allowed, shall be made from the general county fund.

§7-7-16a. Motor vehicles owned by the county.

    The sheriff of each county and his or her deputies who are engaged in law-enforcement activities may, in the discretion of the sheriff, use publicly provided carriage a motor vehicle owned by the county to travel from his or her residence to his or her workplace and return. Any other county official or employee may, or may not, in the discretion of the county commission, be furnished with the use of publicly provided carriage a motor vehicle owned by the county to travel from his or her residence to his or her workplace and return: Provided, That such usage is subject to the supervision of said sheriff or commission and is directly connected with and required by the nature and in the performance of such sheriff's, deputy's, county official or employee's duties and responsibilities.

§7-7-20. Penalties.

    If any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of any county and circuit court, sheriff, county assessor or prosecuting attorney fail to file the detailed request for appropriations or the budget statement as provided in section seven of this article or fail to file the monthly or semimonthly statement as provided in section nine of this article or fail to file the statement of expenditures as provided for in section seventeen of this article, or if any county clerk, circuit clerk, joint clerk of any county and circuit court, sheriff, county assessor, prosecuting attorney, their assistants, deputies or employees, fail to comply with any of the requirements provided in this article, he or she shall, except where another penalty is prescribed, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100, or imprisoned confined in the county jail not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned confined.

 

 

 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill generally eliminates outmoded language concerning compensation of county elected officials. The bill repeals the requirement that the compensation of county court employees be in compliance with the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970. As of January 1, 2013 all prosecuting attorneys are required to be full-time while providing an exception for those currently part-time. The bill transfers some training program responsibilities and valuation classification of property from the State Tax Commissioner to the State Auditor. The bill also authorizes the State Auditor and State Tax Commissioner to establish training programs for certain employees. The bill removes the limitations on food, lodging, registration fees and mileage on authorized training. The bill eliminates the outdated property valuations used to determine the compensation of elected county officials. The bill further permits a county sheriff to turn over an impounded dog to the local humane society instead of killing it. Additionally, the bill eliminates references to a county position that no longer exists. The bill removes the limitation of the costs for the housing and feeding of prisoners in counties having a population of thirty thousand or less.

 

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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