Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/19/1993 01:40 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HOUSE BILL NO. 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 Larson  announced  that  HB 66  would  be  HELD  in                 
  Committee following public testimony.                                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  presented members  with  Amendment 1,                 
  creating  a  mandatory  deferral  for  low   income  persons                 
  (Attachment  1).     She  noted   that  a  memorandum   from                 
  Legislative  Counsel  is  attached to  Amendment  1.   Legal                 
  Counsel advises that it is necessary to include  language to                 
  base the optional exemption on "hardship".                                   
                                                                               
  In  response   to  a  question  by  Representative  Parnell,                 
  Representative Brown explained  that $36,000 for individuals                 
  filling  jointly  has been  added  to subsection  (b).   The                 
  intent of the amendment would be to mandate that communities                 
  allow low income citizens to defer tax payments until death.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BRAD  BRADLEY, spoke in support of continued funding for the                 
  Senior  Citizen Tax  Exemption.   He pointed  out  that many                 
  seniors could not  afford to stay  in the state without  the                 
  aid of support programs.  He urged the Committee to maintain                 
  current programs.  He felt that  rural seniors would be most                 
  adversely affected.  He suggested that the cap be lowered or                 
  the age raised rather than to discontinue the senior citizen                 
  property tax exemption.                                                      
                                                                               
  PAUL WOERNER, RETIRED OFFICERS  ASSOCIATION spoke in support                 
  of continued funding for the  Disabled Veterans Property Tax                 
  Exemption.  He  pointed out  that the Veterans  Home is  not                 
  being funded.  He added that the  veteran's burial allowance                 
  is  also  being  discontinued.   He  stressed  that eligible                 
  veterans  are  50  percent  disabled.    He  emphasized  the                 
  difficulty  that  disabled  veterans encounter  in  reaching                 
  their full earning potential.  He suggested that, "surely in                 
                                                                               
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  a state that can offer upwards of  a $1,000 dollars for each                 
  resident, each year  for no other criteria  than that person                 
  is a  resident in  the State  for twelve  months, surely  we                 
  don't have to offer up our disabled American veterans to get                 
  government spending under control."                                          
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  expressed   his  concern   that                 
  disabled  veterans  are  likely  to  be  renters  and  would                 
  therefore  be affected by the deletion of the Renters Rebate                 
  Program.   Mr.  Woerner  agreed that  perhaps  half  of  the                 
  disabled veterans live in rental property.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  stated  that  in making  things                 
  easier for  the State and municipalities that some times "we                 
  forget  who  the people  were  that  we originally  set  the                 
  program up, and the service that it provides."                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin asserted that the  State has an influx                 
  of seniors because the State's senior programs are generous.                 
  He felt that controls must be put on the State's generosity.                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson clarified that the  legislation passed in FY                 
  93 to create a  Veterans Home stated that the Home  would be                 
  funded with private donations.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault  asked if  most disabled  veterans                 
  would  fit under the caps provided for  in Amendment 1.  Mr.                 
  Woerner  thought  that  most  disabled veterans  would  have                 
  incomes under the cap.                                                       
                                                                               
  GENE  DOWE, LEGISLATIVE  OFFICE,  VETERANS  OF FOREIGN  WARS                 
  (VFW) spoke in support of continued funding for the Disabled                 
  Veterans Property Tax Exemption.                                             
                                                                               
  HB 66 was HELD in Committee.                                                 

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