Dickinson County Treasurer's Office Remained Very Busy This Past Year Even With COVID-19 Pandemic

Wed 2-3-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- This past year was still a very busy one for the Dickinson County Treasurer's Office, even with the pandemic. That was the message Treasurer Kris Rowley had Tuesday in her annual report to the Board of Supervisors. Rowley reported her office took in some $50 million in property taxes and various other receipts over the past six months.

She says one area in her office that saw a decrease in activity was the driver's license station. Rowley says the amount of licenses issued this past year was down by about 23 percent from the previous year. She says that was largely due to extensions that were granted on expiration dates of licenses. Even then, Rowley says Dickinson county still ranks very high statewide when it comes to the issuance of driver's licenses...Treasurer's Annual Report01 

"We're actually number 10 in the state for issuing across the 83 counties in our numbers, raw numbers, which is pretty amazing, because we're in competition with like the counties from Des Moines, counties from Cedar Rapids and we're showing up as 10th. Even with the 20 percent decrease. And basically it's because we're open."

Rowley says the motor vehicle division in her office was extremely busy, even with the pandemic...Treasurer's Annual Report02 

"Like the registration, titling revenue, 11.4 percent increase that we sent to the state and what we kept. I mean it was just 50 percent more to the state, 11.4 percent that we kept. I mean you can see that we don't keep a lot. We only keep four percent of the registration renewal amount, so it's not a lot of money compared to what the state gets. For the title, it used to be called sales or use tax, people mostly recognize it from that, that we had an increase for the state, the Department of Revenue, of 25.5 percent. And those are actually cars that are bought, fees for titling. So people bought cars."

Rowley currently serves as President of County Treasurer's Association. She says they are lobbying the legislature for a bill that would allow counties to retain an additional amount of revenue from registration renewals and titling. Rowley says it's put an increased demand on staff which in turn is being paid for through property tax revenue.

She says they're also urging passage of a bill that would do away with county-specific titling, which would allow that to happen cross-counties.