Missouri Department of Revenue seeking bids to run Jackson license office

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Missouri Department of Revenue is accepting proposals to operate the Jackson license office.

The office, currently operated by lawyer and developer Gerri Jones, is at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. Jones said in January he intends to submit a bid to retain control of the operation.

The revenue department is in the process of seeking bidders for all of the state's 183 license offices. Commonly known as fee offices, the privately run operations handle motor vehicle registrations, titling and driver's license transactions, charging a state-approved fee in addition to the state's charges for the transactions.

The offices traditionally have been handed out as political plums. Because of criticism of the way office awards were handled early in his administration, former governor Matt Blunt began seeking competitive bids for offices in need of managers.

Gov. Jay Nixon adopted the practice and expanded it to all state license offices, which traditionally change hands when a new governor takes office.

Bidders are being asked to make a community commitment and offer a portion of the fees to the state as part of the bidding process.

The department put the Cape Girardeau license office, 112 S. Spanish St., and currently operated by the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation, up for bid in mid-February. Bids to operate that office are due by 2 p.m. March 24.

The Southeast Foundation has submitted a bid to retain the Cape Girardeau office, university spokeswoman Ann Hayes said Monday. That office handles nearly 70,000 transactions a year with fee revenue of more than $230,000.

The Jackson license office handles more than 53,000 transactions annually and fee revenue was more than $175,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The Southeast Foundation at one time also operated the Jackson office. Hayes said no decision has been made on whether the foundation will make a bid for that operation.

Jones could not be reached for comment Monday. He has said he may be interested in bidding for other offices as well. Information about who bids will be made public after the bidding period closes.

For more information about the bidding process, contact the Missouri Office of Administration at 573-751-2387. To view the bid documents, go to www.moolb.mo.gov.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent addresses:

125 E. Main St., Jackson, Mo.

112 S. Spanish St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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