Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/18/1993 01:31 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 66 An Act relating to municipal property tax exemptions for certain residences and to property tax equivalency payments for certain residents; and providing for an effective date. CS HB 66 (FIN) was held in Committee for further discussion. HOUSE BILL 66 "An Act relating to municipal property tax exemptions for certain residences and to property tax equivalency payments for certain residents; and providing for an effective date." Co-Chair MacLean provided the Committee a brief overview of the changes made by the Subcommittee to HB 66 work draft #8- GH1032\R dated 3/15/93. [Attachment #12]. She noted that Section 4 contains the changes made by the Subcommittee and does not include: 1. Renters rebate; 2. Deferral option; 3. Hardship language; 4. Full and true value exemption. Representative Grussendorf pointed out that changing the effective date to January 1, 1994 would place responsibility on the municipalities for the transitional period. He recommended adding a contribution. Co-Chair MacLean MOVED CS HB 66 (FIN) work draft 8-GH1032\R, Cook, dated 3/15/93 as the version before the Committee. There being NO OBJECTIONS, it was ordered. Representative Brown provided the Committee with Amendment net for the poorest citizens that they not loose their homes as a result of the phase out of the program. The amendment would provide that there be a mandatory deferment of taxes owed for an individual whose adjusted gross income is less than $24 thousand dollars. She urged the Committee to consider the amendment for the senior citizens. (Tape Change, HFC 93-50, Side 2). KENT E. SWISHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE, JUNEAU, ALASKA, noted specific concerns of the Alaska Municipal League (AML). * Community Approval - Granting an exemption or a deferral is an important public policy decision having impacts on all other taxpayers and on the level of service offered by the local government. He stated the local public should have the opportunity to participate in the decision through the polls. ALM requests that the Committee consider amending HB 66 to provide for voter approval of local ordinances creating exemption or 11 deferral structures. * Personal Financial Circumstances - Currently, the statute does not include authority for local government to consider individual financial need or other circumstances in creating an exemption, deferral, or combination system. AML urges the Committee to amend HB 66 to clarify local government's ability to consider needs in making decisions for that area. * Effective Date - When HB 66 was introduced, it had an effective date of January 1, 1993, which would be consistent. There is no money provided in the Governor's budget proposal for funding this mandate. The concept of deferral was not included in the bill, and the required action at the local level was to grant or not grant tax exemption to a clearly defined group per regulations to be adopted by DCRA. Representative Brown questioned the Subcommittee elimination of the authority for communities to develop programs based on "need". Co-Chair MacLean stated that the Subcommittee intended to eliminate that authority. Representative Hanley pointed out that Amendment #1 requires a "needs based" program and asked if that was permissive. Co-Chair MacLean stated that "needs based" would be made optional by the municipalities. BRUCE GERAGHTY, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS, stated the "needs based" sentence was left out in order that the municipalities would not act only on that. He noted, y not adding the "needs based" language would allow the municipalities the option. Co-Chair Larson recommended drafting a Subcommittee Letter of Intent explaining the "needs based" concern. Co-Chair MacLean suggested that the amendment could be placed on Page 3, Line 9. She explained that language had been modified so to include no dollar amount. Representative Brown restated that the amendment would assure that low income people would not loose property because of their inability to pay the tax. Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the amendment would change the language and at which time all the seniors would not be given the option to have their taxes deferred. This would create a tax liability and/or a municipal lien on the property. GENE DOW, LEGISLATIVE OFFICER, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS (FVW), JUNEAU, ALASKA, testified in opposition of HB 66. He 12 state that the proposed legislation would affect senior citizens and veterans income. He added that the veterans also oppose the elimination of the $750 dollar burial gratuity further discussion followed. Co-Chair Larson noted that CS HB 66 (FIN) would be HELD in Committee for further discussion.