Colorado Legislative Council Staff

STATE and LOCAL

REVISED FISCAL IMPACT

(replaces revised fiscal impact dated March 12, 1999)

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0231

Sen. Blickensderfer

Rep. McPherson

Date:

Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

April 5, 1999

Senate 2nd Reading

Lon Engelking (303-866-4751)

 

TITLE:            CONCERNING THE CRIME OF MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT.


Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

General Fund


 

 

State Expenditures

General Fund


 


$433,501

FTE Position Change

 

0.3 FTE

Other State Impact: None.

Effective Date: July 1, 2000

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None required

Local Government Impact: See Local Government Impact Section.



Summary of Legislation


            The Senate Appropriations Committee amended the bill to change the effective date to July 1, 2000, and bases the effective date on a condition of passage of HB99-1168. The bill as amended by the Judiciary Committee does not change the current statute for aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree, Section 18-4-409, C.R.S., as did the bill as introduced. It does however, change the penalty for second degree aggravated motor vehicle theft. The amended bill bases the penalty of this offense on the value of the vehicle involved in the crime. The penalty for theft of a vehicle valued over $15,000 would be a class 5 felony, a vehicle valued at $500 but less than $15,000 would be a class 6 felony, and a vehicle valued less than $500 would remain a class 2 misdemeanor.


            The bill specifies that if the theft of a motor vehicle occurs in one jurisdiction and the motor vehicle is recovered in another jurisdiction, the offender may be tried in the jurisdiction where the theft occurred, in any jurisdiction through which the motor vehicle was operated or transported, or in the jurisdiction in which the motor vehicle was recovered.



State Expenditures


            The bill would have a fiscal impact on the State Public Defender and the Department of Corrections (DOC). The impact to each agency is discussed on the following pages.


State Public Defender:


            The State Public Defender will have an increase in attorney time as a result of this bill. Cases that are currently filed as a misdemeanor would now be filed as a felony case. The Public Defender has indicated that approximately 150 cases in FY 1998 were filed as misdemeanors for motor vehicle theft. It is assumed that 20 percent of these cases would remain misdemeanors because the value of the vehicle would be under $500. The other 120 cases would involve a vehicle over $500 and would be filed as felony 5 or 6. It is estimated each case will require 3 additional hours of attorney and investigator time (3 hours x 120 cases= 360 hours). Therefore, the bill would require 0.2 FTE attorney and 0.1 FTE investigator to handle these additional felony cases, and $11,055 General Fund appropriation for FY 2000-01 and each year thereafter.


Department of Corrections: 


            The bill changes the penalty for aggravated motor vehicle theft in the second degree and classifies the crime based on the value of the vehicle. It would be a class 5 felony if the value of the vehicle is $15,000 or more, a class 6 felony if the value of the vehicle is $500 or more but less than $15,000, and a class 2 misdemeanor if the value is less than $500. Since the bill bases the penalty on the value of the vehicle, some offenders who are currently convicted of a misdemeanor could now be convicted of a class 5 or class 6 felony. The Colorado District Attorney's Council (CDAC) database indicates that during the last two fiscal years, an average of 30 offenders per year were convicted of a class 2 misdemeanor for motor vehicle theft. Of these convictions, 7 offenders per year were sentenced to jail. It is assumed that 5 percent of these cases (.35 offenders) will involve a vehicle valued at less than $500 and will remain misdemeanor cases. It is also assumed that 20 percent of these cases (1.4 offenders) will involve a vehicle worth over $15,000 and will now become class 5 felony cases and sentenced to DOC. And finally, it is assumed that the remaining 75 percent of these cases (5.25 offenders) will involve a vehicle with a value between $500 and $15,00 and will now become class 6 felony cases and also sentenced to DOC.


            According to projections from Legislative Council staff, the projected average length of stay for a class 5 felony offender is 16.8 months and for a class 6 felony offender is 10.7 months. Therefore, beginning in FY 2001-02, there would be an ADA impact of 6.1 beds as a result of misdemeanor cases now becoming felony cases. Table 1 below indicates the bed impact over the next five years.



Five-Year Fiscal Impact on Correctional Facilities


            Pursuant to Section 2-2-703, C.R.S., which requires that bills which would result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment not be passed without five years of appropriations for prison bed construction and operating costs, the following analysis is provided. Construction costs are estimated to be $69,467 per bed and operating costs $24,105 per bed. It should be noted that the construction costs reflect the funding needed to construct the beds in the fiscal year prior to when the additional offenders would enter the system.


FIVE-YEAR FISCAL IMPACT ON CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

Fiscal Year

ADA Impact

Construction Cost

Operating Cost

Total Cost

FY 1999-2000

0.00

$0

$0

$0

FY 2000-2001

0.00

$422,446

$0

$422,446

FY 2001-2002

6.08

$38,902

$146,589

$185,491

FY 2002-2003

6.64

$0

$160,087

$160,087

FY 2003-2004

6.64

$0

$160,087

$160,087

TOTAL

 

$461,348

$466,763

$928,111



Local Government Impact


            The bill changes the penalty for aggravated motor vehicle theft in the second degree and classifies the crime based on the value of the vehicle. It would be a class 5 felony if the value of the vehicle is $15,000 or more, a class 6 felony if the value of the vehicle is $500 or more but less than $15,000, and a class 2 misdemeanor if the value is less than $500. Since the penalty for motor vehicle theft would change from a misdemeanor to a felony (in some cases), fewer convictions would result in a sentence to the county jail.


            The bill specifies that theft of a motor vehicle, when the value is less than $500, is a class 2 misdemeanor. The penalty for a class 2 misdemeanor is three to 12 months incarceration in a county jail and/or a fine between $250 and $1,000. Based on data from the past 2 fiscal years, approximately 7 fewer offenders per year would be sent to county jails. Rather, these offenders would now be sentenced to DOC.



State Appropriations


            The Senate Appropriations Committee amended the bill to change the effective date to July 1, 2000. Therefore, no appropriation is required in FY 1999-00.



Departments Contacted        Alternate Defense Counsel    Corrections     Judicial Legislative Council           State Public Defender