The Resource Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of the Treasury
- Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of the Treasury
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- From 1691 to 1776, the Treasurer's Office was a powerful, independent agency. Following the adoption of the state constitution in May 1776, the treasurer has served as a fiscal agent subsidiary to the auditor of public accounts, then to the second auditor, as well, and finally, since March 1, 1928, to their successor, the comptroller. The treasurer kept separate books and sat on the board of directors for three significant funds: the Literary Fund (1811), the Internal Improvement Fund (1816), and the Sinking Fund (1835).
- The office of treasurer was created to collect all the revenues raised from duties on skins, furs, and foreign liquors to support the College of William and Mary. From 1691 until 1723, the speaker of the House of Burgesses was appointed treasurer. The offices of speaker and treasurer were separated in 1766. In October 1776 the General Assembly established the auditor as the primary fiscal agent and in October 1778 specified the treasurer's subservient status to the auditor.
- The treasurer received and disbursed state money on warrants from the first or second auditor after the latter office was created in 1823 and kept accounts in books which he compared yearly with those of the two auditors. His basic duties remained unchanged from 1792 until March 1, 1928, when the Byrd plan for reorganizing state government went into effect.
- On April 18, 1927 the Reorganization Act of 1927 created the Dept. of Finance, which included the Division of the Treasury, was created. The Office of Comptroller was created to perform the functions formerly exercised by the first and second auditors. The treasurer's basic duties still remained unchanged, but he now answered to the comptroller. A significant change required the comptroller to audit each claim to determine its validity before he authorized the treasurer to make payment. In addition, these two officers were designated Commissioners of the Sinking Fund and, along with the governor, members of the Finance Board. A 1928 amendment to the Reorganization Act of 1927 required the treasurer to make daily reports of all receipts to the comptroller, and to take custody of all bonds and certificates of the state debt.
- The Treasurer is now a gubernatorial appointment. A 1948 Act of the General Assembly changed the Division of Treasury to the Department of Treasury. The 1950 revision of the Code of Virginia stipulated that a treasury board was to replace both the Finance Board and the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund. The treasurer, comptroller, and state tax commissioner were designated as members of this board. They were responsible for supervising all investments of state funds, for designating state depositories, for managing the Sinking Fund, and for any other matters which might be conferred upon them by law.
- In 1972 the General Assembly passed an act to establish a governor's cabinet composed of administrative secretaries, and the Dept. of Treasury was placed under the Secretary of Finance control. From 1973 until 1984 the Dept. of Treasury was placed under the Secretary of Administration and Finance. In 1984 it was placed under the Secretary of Finance.
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