A. To provide funds to establish and operate a statewide program to receive and reward information leading to the arrest of persons who commit motor vehicle theft-related crimes in Virginia, each insurer licensed to write insurance coverage as defined in § 38.2-124 shall, prior to March 1 of each year, pay an assessment equal to one-quarter of one percent of the total direct gross premium income for automobile physical damage insurance other than collision written in the Commonwealth during the preceding calendar year.
B. Assessments received pursuant to subsection A of this section, and all other moneys received by the Commission for the same purpose, shall be segregated and placed in a fund to be known as the Help Eliminate Automobile Theft Fund, hereinafter referred to as the HEAT Fund.
C. Any insurer that fails to pay the assessment on or before the date prescribed in subsection A shall be subject to a penalty imposed by the Commission. The penalty shall be ten percent of the assessment and interest shall be charged at a rate pursuant to § 58.1-1812 for the period between the date due and the date of full payment. If a payment is made in an amount later found to be in error, the Commission shall, (i) if an additional amount is due, notify the insurer of the additional amount, which the insurer shall pay within fourteen days of the date of the notice or, (ii) if an overpayment is made, order a refund of the amount of the overpayment, which shall be paid out of the HEAT Fund. The Commission shall be reimbursed from the Fund for all expenses necessary for the administration of this section.
D. The HEAT Fund shall be controlled and administered by the Superintendent of the Department of State Police. The Superintendent shall appoint an advisory committee of seven members to assist in developing and annually reviewing the plan of operation for the HEAT Fund program.
2. Any uncommitted funds remaining in the HEAT Fund on the last day of February of each year may be transferred to the Department of State Police, Department of Motor Vehicles, or Department of Criminal Justice Services for the following purposes: (i) providing financial support to state or local law-enforcement agencies for motor vehicle theft enforcement efforts, (ii) providing financial support to local prosecutors or judicial agencies for programs designed to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle theft, and (iii) conducting educational programs to inform vehicle owners of methods of preventing motor vehicle theft.
1991, c. 318; 1993, c. 196.