By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – The tallying’s been done, and it determined the county DMV office in Oneonta generates $500,000 in sales-tax revenues annually, a fraction of the $4.5 million equivalent generated in the Cooperstown one, county board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said today.
The county keeps only 12.7 percent of those revenues, but the proportion generated by each office shows the relative amount of activity.
Regardless, said Bliss, the state has withheld permission to reopen the county’s Motor Vehicle offices, although all other county offices may reopen, subject to social-distancing restrictions, on Monday, June 8.
He wondered whether the county would ever get permission to reopen either DMV. Up until now, counties that took on responsibilities for the state DMV got a share of state revenues, and the county share has been dropping as more transactions are done online, directly with Albany.
“They want to keep the revenues for themselves,” said Bliss.
County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner generated those numbers at the request of county Rep. Michele Farwell, D-Morris, after Gardner briefed the county board last Wednesday on her decision to close the Oneonta DMV, located on the Westcott Lot level of Old City Hall.
After Gardner’s briefing, county Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, suggested the Oneonta office remain open, rather than Coopertown’s, since it is in the county’s population center, the two colleges are there, and it is proximate to I-88.
Gardner said she would look at the numbers, but she and Bliss said a single office should be located in the county seat, which is also more centrally located within the county.
Bliss said the county clerk estimated each office cost about the same to run, although the Oneonta office required five employees to Cooperstown’s three. Three of the five are being laid off, and the other two transferred to the county seat.