Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/29/1996 01:50 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL 226 "An Act relating to biennial registration of motor vehicles; imposing biennial registration fees on motor vehicles and authorizing a scheduled biennial municipal tax on motor vehicles; relating to fees for motor vehicle emissions control programs; and providing for an effective date." TOM WILLIAMS, STAFF, SENATOR STEVE FRANK, stated that SB 226 would require motor vehicle registration to be renewed once every two years instead of annually. This would result in shorter customer service lines at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by reducing the necessity for frequent public contact. Mr. Williams commented, to help offset the burden of having to pay two years fees at once, the legislation would give the public a small registration fee break. However, despite the small fee break to the public, the State and those municipalities which have a motor vehicle registration would receive additional one time revenues in the year of implementation due to the accelerated collections. 9 Mr. Williams requested the Committee's consideration of a technical amendment #9-LS1352\K.2, Ford, 3/22/96, Amendment effective date section. Mr. Williams added that Amendment #2, #9LS1452\K.3, Ford, 3/25/96, and Amendment #3, #9LS1452\K.7, Cook, 3/28/96, were also recommended for adoption. [Copies on file]. Representative Parnell MOVED to adopt Amendment #1 which would change the effective date to 1/01/97 for biennial registrations. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Co-Chair Hanley questioned the feasibility of implementing the legislation by 7/01/96. RON KING, CHIEF, AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, testified in favor of a joint implementation of the biennial vehicle inspection program with a biennial vehicle registration program. He assessed that the Department submitted a letter requesting that the implementation date for the biennial inspection program be changed from 7/01/96 to 1/01/97. Mr. King noted that vehicle inspection and registration programs are intricately linked, and it would be essential to have an orderly transition period. He advised that he has had problems with the modification of the software for the test analyzers. The analyzer manufacturers have indicated that they could not complete the software modifications until 11/01/96. Mr. King continued, if the amendment was adopted, the Department would have to implement a manual system that would be labor intensive and would require considerable cooperation from the facilities performing the tests. The second option and the one preferred by the Department would be to delay the implementation of the biennial vehicle inspection program until 1/01/97. Under that option, computer software modifications would be completed. Mr. King added that the Department would request that the two programs be implemented simultaneously. JUANITA HENSLEY, CHIEF, DRIVER SERVICES, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, stated that the legislation would need to be passed by 4/01/96 in order for the Department to be able to implement it by 7/01/96. Renewal registration forms are mailed out four months in advance and people need to know the duration of their registration and how much it will cost them. 10 Co-Chair Hanley agreed that both concerns should be implemented at the same time. Mr. King pointed out that the statutory starting time had been based on SB 28. SB 226 would change the initial date. Co-Chair Hanley encouraged passage of the amendment in which both would begin 1/01/97. Mr. Williams stated that the motion would not require a title change resolution, although, would require a 2/3 effective date vote change. Mr. King responded to Representative Brown's question, stating that the Department would do the best they could in implementing the program without the requested $50 thousand dollar allocation, while reminding the Committee that this would be a fiscally "tight" budget year. Mr. King explained that the $50 thousand dollar note would be an on-going fee as authorized in SB 28 language. Amendment #2 was WITHDRAWN. Representative Mulder MOVED to adopt Amendment #3. [Copy on file]. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Representative Mulder MOVED to WITHDRAW Amendment #4. [Copy on file]. There being NO OBJECTION, it was WITHDRAWN. Representative Mulder spoke to Amendment #5, #9-LS1452\K.4, Ford, 3/28/96. [Copy on file]. He noted that the amendment had been requested by the Municipality of Anchorage and that it would allow that the inspection program not be related to the air quality program. Mr. Williams indicated that Senator Frank was opposed to Amendment #5. Representative Mulder spoke to Amendment #6, #9-LS1452\K.8, Ford, 3/29/96. [Copy on file]. He stated that Amendment #6 had been provided by car rental agencies in Anchorage to address a matter of equity in the registration costs. Co-Chair Hanley requested that a written response to the amendments be provided by the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the sponsor, Senator Frank. CS SB 226 (FIN) am was HELD in Committee for further consideration.