CHARLESTON – The state of West Virginia owns 8,380 vehicles, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Government Organization.
That number is about 4,000 fewer than the number of vehicles that have been insured by the state.
The inventory number was determined after the implementation of House Bill 4015 from last year's legislative session. Gary Howell (R-Mineral) is chairman of the House Committee on Government Organization, and he fought to ensure the bill passed last year.
“After years of confusion and conflicting data, we finally know how many vehicles the state owns,” Howell said. “It took a long time to get to this point, but now we finally have made agencies transparent and accountable with regard to the vehicles they manage."
The bill created a Fleet Management Division in the Department of Administration. It requires annual reporting and continual tracking of the state’s vehicle fleet.
It also created the State Vehicle Title, Registration and Relicensing Project of 2018. That phased out the old green and white state vehicle license plates and replaced them with gold and blue ones. Vehicles got the new plates after they were re-registered with the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
The bill also allows the State Auditor’s Office to conduct spot compliance audits with various state agencies to check records and monitor compliance with the new law.
According to the DMV, the current vehicle fleet includes:
* 4,175 Class A vehicles, which are either passenger cars or trucks with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
* 2,907 Class B vehicles, which are trucks with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, truck tractors or road tractors.
* 1,031 Class C trailers, which are large trailers pulled by Class B motor vehicles and have a gross weight greater than 2,000 pounds.
* 5 Class G motorcycles and parking enforcement vehicles.
* 18 Class M pieces of mobile equipment.
* 36 Class R house trailers.
* 208 Class T trailers or semitrailers of a type designed to be drawn by Class A vehicles and having a gross weight of less than 2,000 pounds.
The state Supreme Court has 19 vehicles, and the state Attorney General's office has 13.
“The 8,380 total vehicles found in this inventory process is about 4,000 less than the roughly 12,000 vehicles that our Board of Risk and Insurance Management had been paying to insure,” Howell said. “With this definitive total, we will be able to save taxpayers nearly $400,000 in BRIM premium payments each year – meaning the costs of implementing this bill will be paid for in about three months.
“We are committed to implementing sound, transparent government practices, and House Bill 4015 was a critical step in providing our citizens with a full accounting of how their tax dollars are being spent with regard to the state’s vehicle fleet. This legislation will continue to reap benefits by helping to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in state government.”