WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4484
By Delegates Ihle, Storch, Butler, Gearheart, McGeehan, Sobonya, Householder, Overington, McCuskey, Cadle and Summers
[Introduced February 10,
to the Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-5-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to enacting the County Financial Transparency Act; requiring county financial statements to include all county expenditures; and allowing the county’s financial statement to be posted on the county’s website in lieu of publishing it as a Class I legal advertisement.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-5-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. FISCAL AFFAIRS.
§7-5-16. Preparation, publication and disposition of financial statements.
(a) This section may be known and cited as the “County Financial Transparency Act.”
(a) (b) The county commission of every county, by
October 15 of each fiscal year, shall prepare on a form to be prescribed by the
State Tax Commissioner, and cause to be published a statement revealing: (1)
The receipts and expenditures of the county during the previous fiscal year
arranged under descriptive headings; (2) the name of each firm, corporation,
and person who received more than $50 from any amount from any fund
during the previous fiscal year, together with the amount received and the
purpose for which paid; and (3) all debts of the county, the purpose for which
each debt was contracted, its due date, and to what date the interest thereon
has been paid: Provided, That all salaries, receipts and expenditures to
all county employees by office or department may be published in the aggregate. (b) (c) The county commission shall transmit to
any resident of the county requesting a copy of the published statement for the
fiscal year designated, supplemented by a list of the names of each firm,
corporation and person who received less than $50 from any amount
from any fund during the fiscal year showing the amount paid to each, the
purpose for which paid and an itemization of the salaries, receipts and
expenditures to all county employees by office or department otherwise
published in the aggregate. (c) (d) If a county commission willfully fails or
refuses to perform the duties required in this section, every member of the commission,
concurring in the failure or refusal, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100 $250;
and the prosecuting attorney of any county shall, when the failure or refusal
shall come to the prosecuting attorney's knowledge, immediately present the
evidence thereof to the grand jury if in session, and if not in session, the
prosecuting attorney shall institute proper criminal proceedings before a
magistrate against any offender, and cause the failure or refusal to be
investigated by the next succeeding grand jury. (d) (e) Where in subsections (a) and (b) and
(c), salaries, receipts and expenditures are published in the aggregate,
the county commission shall, upon written request, provide to any resident of
the county an itemized accounting of the salaries, receipts and expenditures. (e) (f) By October 15 of each fiscal year, each
county commission shall publish the financial statement as a Class I-0 legal
advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter
fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall
be is the county.
(g) In lieu of publishing the statement as required by subsections (b) and (f) of this section, the county commission may, within ninety days of the beginning of the fiscal year, publish a notice that the requisite financial statements are available to the public, free of charge, at the county’s primary office and on a website maintained by the county. Each notice shall contain the office address and the website address where financial statements are available. The statement shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication is the county.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to enact the County Financial Transparency Act. It requires county financial statements to include all county expenditures and allows the county’s financial statement to be posted on the county’s website in lieu of publishing it as a Class I legal advertisement.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.