Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1996 02:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  SENATE BILL NO. 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 FRANK  noted that Amendments 6,                 
  7 and 8  were not  been addressed during  the House  Finance                 
  Committee meeting on 3/29/93.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder  WITHDREW  Amendment 6,  9-LS1452\K.8                 
  (copy on file).                                                              
                                                                               
  Mr. Williams noted that Senator Frank is  neutral in regards                 
  to Amendment 7, 9-LS1452\K.6 (copy on file).                                 
                                                                               
  JUANITA  HENSLEY, CHIEF DRIVER  SERVICES, DIVISION  OF MOTOR                 
  VEHICLES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY  stated  that  the                 
                                                                               
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  Department is not  opposed to Amendment  7.  She noted  that                 
  the amendment cites  AS 28.15.081(d) but relates  to vehicle                 
  registration  under  AS  21.10.    She maintained  that  the                 
  Division  has  the authority  to  issues contracts  under AS                 
  28.15.   The Division  currently issues  contracts under  AS                 
  28.10.  There is nothing in  the statutes that provides that                 
  the Division can or  cannot issue contracts under  AS 28.15.                 
  She acknowledged  that contract  agents' revenues have  been                 
  reduce due to  the $10 dollar fee for  walk-in transactions.                 
  The city  of Craig  collected $5,025  dollars in $10  dollar                 
  fees  paid   by  persons   that  did   not  mail   in  their                 
  registration.   Commissioned agents also receive  50 percent                 
  of driver's license fees and 15 percent of vehicle fees that                 
  they  collect.    The Division  only  contracts  with police                 
  departments.   In  1995, the  city of  Craig received  $27.0                 
  thousand   dollars.      This   amount   has  increased   by                 
  approximately $2.0 thousand dollars a year.                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley questioned if the statutory reference should                 
  be changed.                                                                  
                                                                               
  DAVE GRAY, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE  spoke in support of                 
  Amendment 7.   He  emphasized that  the  drafter felt  there                 
  would not be  a problem with the  citation to AS 28.15.   He                 
  asserted that the $10 fee was  added to alleviate traffic to                 
  urban  offices  of  the  Division  of  Motor  Vehicles.   He                 
  stressed that contract officers provide the same services to                 
  rural areas that  are offered in  urban areas.  He  observed                 
  that small communities must rely on contract agents.                         
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley questioned if the statutory reference should                 
  be changed.  Ms.  Hensley stated that the Division  has been                 
  contracting since before  statehood.  She did  not think the                 
  statute reference would create a problem.                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley noted that the amendment states that the $10                 
  dollar fee for vehicle license registrations shall be waived                 
  under AS 28.15.  He pointed out that AS 28.15 does not cover                 
  vehicle licensing.  He asked if  the citation would give the                 
  Division  the  authority  to waive  fees  for  license plate                 
  registration.    He  questioned  the  Division's   statutory                 
  authorization.  Ms.  Hensley acknowledged  that there is  no                 
  specific  language  allowing  the Division  to  contract for                 
  vehicle registration under AS 28.15.  She stressed  that the                 
  Division can waive fees to commissioned agents under current                 
  regulations.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Mr.  Gray  noted  that  commissioned  agents  are  currently                 
  performing title work, vehicle registration and other tasks.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In  response  to  comments  by  Representative  Martin,  Ms.                 
                                                                               
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  Hensley noted that there is only enough  work in the city of                 
  Craig for a half-time position.  Commissioned agents receive                 
  50 percent of driver licensing fees.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown summarized that  the income of contract                 
  agents was reduced.   Mr.  Gray agreed that  the $10  dollar                 
  walk-in fee has reduced contract agent services.                             
                                                                               
  In  response to a  question by Co-Chair  Hanley, Ms. Hensley                 
  clarified  that  there  is no  additional  fee  for driver's                 
  licenses.    She  noted that  driver's  licensing  fees were                 
  recently  increased.   Commissioned agents  also receive  50                 
  percent of all the commercial driver's licenses.                             
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown questioned  the fiscal  impact  to the                 
  State.  Ms.  Hensley stated that  there would be a  negative                 
  fiscal impact to the State.  She could not estimate the loss                 
  of revenues.  She observed amounts collected by commissioned                 
  agents.   Co-Chair Hanley  summarized that  the State  would                 
  lose 85 percent  of the $31.0 thousand  dollars collected by                 
  contract agents.                                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted that the  intent of the amendment                 
  is to encourage  individuals to  register their vehicles  in                 
  person.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Hanley  noted   that  under   current  law  if   5                 
  individuals  registered in person they  would each pay a $10                 
  fee for a  total of $50 dollars.  Fifteen percent of the fee                 
  would go to  the contract officer  and the rest would  go to                 
  the  State.  The amendment  would waive the  fee.  The State                 
  would have to  pay 15 percent of the amount paid to contract                 
  agents.   Ms.  Hensley added  that the  State paid  contract                 
  agents $128.0 thousand dollars in FY  90 and $174.0 thousand                 
  dollars  in FY 95.  She  pointed out that the Division still                 
  has to administer the paper work involved.                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Gray emphasized that state services can only go to small                 
  communities  through  similar  contract  arrangements.    He                 
  stressed  the  need   to  maintain   these  services.     He                 
  acknowledged the cost to the State.                                          
                                                                               
  In response to  a question by  Co-Chair Hanley, Ms.  Hensley                 
  noted that emissions testing centers do not charge the State                 
  for the services they render.  In addition, they perform the                 
  paper work and data  entry involved.  Only 5 of  the 13 paid                 
  contract agents register vehicles.                                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault  noted   that  emissions   center                 
  provided  services  in  order  to  attract business.    They                 
  normally charge the customer a $10 fee.                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
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  Co-Chair Hanley reiterated concerns  that the Division  does                 
  not have statutory authority for contract agents.                            
                                                                               
  SB 226 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                      

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