Legislature(2013 - 2014)
03/14/2013 03:21 PM FIN
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 50 "An Act authorizing the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to allow certain commercial uses in a multi-unit residential housing development owned or financed by the corporation and limiting the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board's issuance of certain licenses to premises in the residential housing development." 4:21:42 PM Representative Costello MOVED to ADOPT the proposed committee substitute for HB 50, Work Draft, 28-LS0155/C, Strasbaugh, 3/14/13 (FIN). Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion. DANIEL GEORGE, STAFF, CO-CHAIR STOLTZE, explained the changes in the CS. He noted the change on the final page, which removed the wording between lines 9 and 17, "the corporation may not authorize the commercial use of space in a multi-unit residential housing development owned or financed by the corporation for the manufacture, sale, transfer or storage of cigarettes or tobacco products" replaced with "the corporation may not authorize the commercial use of space in a multi-unit residential housing development owned or financed by the corporation for a business that primarily sells, transfers, or stores cigarettes or tobacco related products. There being NO FURTHER OBJECTION, it was so ordered, Version C was ADOPTED. 4:23:15 PM Representative Costello explained that the bill allowed the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) to authorize the combination of commercial use and multi-unit residential housing developments owned or financed by the corporation. She pointed out three sections of the bill. Under the authorizations allowed to the corporations, "the addition of the ability for AHFC to authorize certain commercial uses in a multi-unit residential housing development owned or financed by the corporation." Representative Costello added that the final section of the bill excluded certain types of businesses such as charitable gaming, adult entertainment, the sale of alcoholic beverages, unless the sale occurs with a restaurant licensed under the alcohol beverage control board as a restaurant. The first section of the bill was new and allowed the ABC board to approve a request for a new location if AHFC approved a business in one of the multi-unit housing areas. She explained that the purpose of the bill was to allow more flexibility for multi-unit housing in Alaska. She mentioned other communities that utilized commercial use space in buildings, which allowed residents to benefit from the commercial properties and allowed AHFC greater flexibility when pursuing more affordable housing for Alaskans. 4:25:10 PM STACY SHUBER, DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, explained that AHFC was involved in mortgages, bonds, financing, public housing and energy programs. The mortgage and investment aspect of the business supported the diversity of work at AHFC. She explained that the bill would help meet the need for more housing across communities and helping the corporation to strengthen their position financially. Ms. Shuber explained that AHFC's family loan program performed well and remained an important tool for construction of new, safe, quality and affordable multi- unit housing. She stated that AHFC supported the legislation and urged the committee's support. 4:26:03 PM Representative Wilson asked about the exclusions and whether they were tied to federal grants. Representative Costello replied that the exclusions were not mandated by the relationship between the federal government and AHFC. The exclusions were included in the legislation to promote family-friendly living environments. 4:26:49 PM Representative Wilson asked if other communities were using the model. She wished to better understand the family- friendly portion of the legislation. Representative Costello replied that AHFC could best speak to community models. She added that there was a trend across the country to incorporate commercial and housing opportunities. She was unsure about exact statistics regarding these types of housing opportunities. Representative Wilson stated that she supported the commercial portion of the legislation, but wanted to remain flexible with the language. 4:27:48 PM Representative Kawasaki agreed that the proposed housing trends were infectious in the Lower 48. He asked if similar units were overseen in Alaska by AHFC. Ms. Shuber referred to the Inlet Tower Hotel, which was included in AHFC's portfolio. She noted that a property in the Mountain View subdivision in Anchorage resulted from a partnership between AHFC and Cook Inlet Housing and included retail shops on the bottom of the building and housing units on the top. Representative Kawasaki asked if AHFC must fill a void in the area because of the need for housing. Ms. Shuber replied that AHFC saw the opportunity to address housing issues in Kodiak, Anchorage, Nome and Barrow. She highlighted that the commercial space made the housing options more affordable across all income levels. Co-Chair Stoltze asked if Mountain View would have similar options without AHFC and Cook Inlet Housing. Ms. Shuber replied that she did not know the answer to the question. 4:30:01 PM Representative Edgmon asked about the charitable gaming element of the bill and the potential restrictions implied. He pointed out that rural Alaskan communities utilized gaming for fundraising purposes, and senior housing facilities employed similar routines. 4:30:29 PM Ms. Shuber replied that AHFC did not have a position on the gaming and profitability aspect of HB 50. She supposed that gaming might affect the profitability of a business in certain circumstances, but AHFC did not speculate without a proposed project to detail. Representative Costello responded that the bill provided a tremendous opportunity for businesses. The intent of the exclusion was to provide for a family-friendly environment in the facility. Representative Edgmon did not know if the restriction might provide an unintended impediment in rural Alaska. 4:31:57 PM Co-Chair Stoltze asked if the restriction might prevent a senior center from hosting a bingo event. Ms. Shuber referred the question to an AHFC underwriter. ERIC HAVELOCK, MULTI-FAMILY UNDERWRITING SUPERVISOR, AHFC (via teleconference), commented that venues for charitable gaming were sometimes located near the corporation's housing projects but typically not within the facility. He stated that a senior center would have bingo night and pull-tab operations. He stated that AHFC did not have a position on the gaming operations. Co-Chair Stoltze understood the corporation's neutrality. Mr. Havelock stated that he had witnessed gaming utilized in other projects outside of the residential housing. 4:33:15 PM Representative Munoz asked about developments that were tax exempt under city or municipal code. She assumed that the owner would be liable for the property tax due to the commercial portion of the property. She wondered how the division of property assessment was addressed by the corporation. Ms. Shuber requested Mr. Havelock's opinion. Mr. Havelock stated that the local tax authority would determine the taxing structure for the business and housing unit. A municipality could offer a tax exemption for real property taxes. The taxation of the commercial space would be determined by each municipality. 4:34:31 PM Co-Chair Stoltze understood that bingo and other events constituted common fundraising opportunities. He suggested a conceptual amendment to strike the charitable gaming language from the bill. Representative Gara offered a conceptual amendment: Delete "charitable gaming under AS 05.15," page 6, line 11. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. The conceptual amendment was adopted. 4:36:29 PM Representative Costello highlighted one zero fiscal note from Department of Revenue (DOR). 4:37:16 PM Representative Costello MOVED to REPORT CSHB 50 (FIN) out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. CSHB 50 (FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published zero fiscal note: FN1 (REV).