If we want to charge actual cost for recording, we need to have a mechanism
to raise the fee as often as labor rates change - I like my annual raise,
and I wonder how long the new fee would cover the actual costs. It's my
understanding that the statutory fees are not changed very often.
At 01:40 PM 2/3/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi all- It would be nice to "have our cake and eat it too", but it seems
>unreasonable to keep ALL of the revenue without actually doing the
>recording. Perhaps we need to assess the actual costs of recording a
>page, including books, paper, LABOR, vault space and mailing recorded
>documents back out. These costs could then be deducted from the $6.00
>recording fee to arrive at a new fee. We could still assess the $1.00 per
>page restoration fee on the original mortgage pages as restoration is a
>valid public goal . This might be a good compromise, and we all know that
>compromise is the name of the game in politics. Any thoughts?? Missy in
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>John Cushing
>To: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 3:00 PM
>Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE
>IMPORTANT NOTICE TO BE ACTED ON IMMEDIATELY**********
>House Bill 31 – is now in the Government Operations Committee and
>testimony was heard this week. For those of you who do not know – H31 is
>the ‘short form mortgage’.
>This bill is being looked at as a reduction in vault space and I cannot
>deny that it will reduce the number of volumes being recorded.
>HOWEVER------the issue that I continue to try to understand is the loss of
>revenue to the municipality.
>In Milton’s case alone – this is a tremendous loss of revenue and
>proportionately to smaller municipalities I suspect that it would be
>equally an issue as well. I determined this information by performing the
>following task – something that you need to do in your own municipality. I
>took a land record volume at random from the 23 volumes created in
>calendar year 2002. I determined that there were 39 mortgages. I counted
>the pages of the mortgages and reduced them to one page which would have
>reduced the number of pages in the volume by 537 and a loss of revenue in
>the amount of $3,759.00 from this volume alone using the $7.00 per page
>method - $4,296.00 using the $8.00 (proposed legislation) per page.
>If this were an average volume, the $3,759 x 23 (volumes recorded in 2002)
>I would have reduced my revenue by $86,457.00.
>Word now has it from Montpelier that the proposal may be a document fee of
>$50.00 for the short term which would reduced my loss of revenue to
>$46,207.00 – this is about one-third of the total revenue generated in the
>year 2002. I am not on fees, but this represents almost one cent on our
>tax rate. I can admit that it will reduce the vault space BUT I believe
>that this will place a financial burden on each and every town in the
>State of Vermont. Each and every one of you need to do this exercise and
>begin to be heard.
>There are over 250 clerks in this State. I have heard from very few of you
>so I am still not sure what direction you would like to see the
>Legislative Committee proceed. Not only do I need to hear from you, but
>you need to contact your legislators, select boards, town managers,
>administrative assistants – this affects the municipality as a whole. The
>ironic part of this issue is that the dollar increase per page – if
>granted by the new legislation – will still end with a net reduction in
>revenue using the 2002 recording statistics.
>I BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO PROPOSE THAT THE SHORT FORM BE USED BUT THE
>DOCUMENT FEE WILL BE EQUAL TO THE $7.00 OR $8.00 PER PAGE TIMES THE NUMBER
>OF PAGES THAT THE SHORT FORM DEED REFERS TO. THIS ACCOMPALISHES TWO FOLD
>--- REDUCES THE VOLUME OF PAPER BEING RECORDED AND GENERATES THE REVENUE
>NEEDED TO IMPROVE VAULT SPACE AND MAINTAIN THE RECORDS. IT IS BEING PAID
>FOR BY THE PERSON(S) FILING THE DOCUMENT. THE RECORDING FEES ARE A VERY
>SMALL PORTION OF THE CLOSING COSTS. SOMEONE BORROWING $100,000.00, I
>BELIEVE, WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY THE $105 - $120 FOR A 15-PAGE MORTGAGE IF
>THEY KNEW THAT THEIR RECORDS WERE GOING TO BE PROPERLY MAINTAINED. THE
>TOWN’S FINANCES ARE JUST AS CRITICAL AS THE STATE’S. John