State expects $400,000 annual savings after tally of fleet vehicles

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) - After years of confusion, West Virginia finally knows how many vehicles it owns. That's according to a new report out of the state legislature.

Officials have determined that the state owns 8,380 vehicles, many fewer than the approximately 12,000 it had been paying taxes for.

“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," Del. Gary Howell, R-Mineral County, chairman of the House Committee on Government Organization, said in a news release.

The newly found vehicle total groups into the following:

• 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 fewer than 2,000 pounds.

Along with requiring continuous tracking and annual reports to keep up with the number of vehicles in the state's fleet, legislation passed in 2018 began phasing out of the vehicles' green and white license plates, replacing them with gold and blue ones. It also allows for random spot compliance audits for agencies using state vehicles.

“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,” Howell said.