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2003-3 Register of Deeds Automation Fund Fees--PA 698 of 2002

Letter Number 2003-3
Register of Deeds Automation Fund Fees
Public Act 698 of 2002

March 11, 2003

To:    County Board of Commissioners, County Treasurers, Administrators, Managers, and Register of Deeds

From:    Suzanne K. Schafer, Administrator
              Local Audit and Finance Division
              Bureau of Local Government Services

RE:    Register of Deeds Automation Fund Fees

The legislature enacted Public Act 698 (Act) which was signed into law on December 30, 2002 and becomes effective March 31, 2003. It increases fees collected in the Register of Deeds' Office under the Revised Judicature Act of 1961 (Michigan Compiled Laws 600.2567). The Act also created an Automation Fund for upgrading technology in the Register of Deeds' office by adding MCL 600.2568.

MCL 600.2567 does the following:

1. Increases the amount of the first page recording fee by $3.00 (from $7.00 to $10.00)[total of recording fees prescribed in subsections (1)(a) and (2)].

2. Increases the amount to be charged for recording additional and succeeding pages of a document by $1.00 (from $2.00 to $3.00).

3. Increases the fee for making notations of assignments or discharges by $2.00 (from $1.00 to $3.00).

4. Directs that the register of deeds deposit $5.00 of the total fee collected for each recording into an automation fund as directed under MCL 600.2568.

MCL 600.2568 does the following:

1. Directs the county to establish an automation fund in which the money deposited by the register of deeds is in accordance with section 2567. The county treasurer is charged with the responsibility of investing the funds and crediting the interest and earnings to the automation fund.

2. The register of deeds is charged with expending the fees from the fund subject to an appropriation under the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act, PA 2 of 1968, as amended, (MCL 141.421 to 141.440a) for upgrading technology in the register of deeds' office.

a. Upgrading technology is defined to include the design and purchase of equipment, and supplies and implementation of systems and procedures:
(1) That allow the register of deeds to receive, enter, record, certify, index, store, search, retrieve, copy, and otherwise process (by automated procedures and advanced technology) documents, instruments, abstracts, maps, plats, and other items recorded and maintained by the register of deeds.

The fees collected are deposited with the county treasurer and should be recorded as revenue in the county general fund using the same account numbers as in past years. However, the Act states that "$5.00 of the total fee collected for each recording" should go into the new automation fund. The total documents recorded should be tallied at the end of each day and then multiplied by $5.00 to determine the amount that will be deposited in the "Register of Deeds Automation Fund." A transfer should then be made from the general fund into the new automation fund. The county should use fund number 256 for the automation fund. The balance of the proceeds remains in the general fund.

If you have any questions, please call Ernest Hodgers at (517) 373-3227 or write our office at:

Michigan Department of Treasury
Local Audit and Finance Division
P.O. Box 30728
Lansing, Michigan 48909-8228