Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/24/1993 08:00 AM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 133: DEFINITION OF VALUE FOR FISHERIES TAX Number 582 CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the committee would next take up HB 133, which was sponsored by the House Special Committee on Fisheries. Number 588 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS, MEMBER, HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 133, said the bill was similar to existing law, but restructured the definition of "value" used in administering fisheries taxes, in order to enhance clarity. Also, HB 133 closed some loopholes in existing law. She explained there was no known opposition to HB 133 from any parties, and the bill was supported by aquaculture organizations. The background of the legislation stemmed from prior disputes among processors and fishermen over the definition of value in the payment of the raw fish tax and salmon enhancement tax. The argument was that bonuses and delivery costs were not part of the actual amount paid fishermen for their fish. That interpretation, she added, left an opening for processors to pay lower prices for the fish, and make up for the low price by giving bonuses for services such as delivery or handling, Number 593 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS explained that HB 133 clarified exactly what services and forms of payment were subject to the taxes. She added the bill had an effective date of January 1, 1994. Number 600 VICE CHAIR HUDSON asked for clarification that HB 133 would guarantee the treasury would collect the raw fish tax based on all prices paid to the fishermen, including bonus amounts and other in-kind contributions. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS confirmed that was correct. VICE CHAIR HUDSON then asked whether HB 133 included an incremental fiscal note showing anticipated revenues from the change in statute. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS referred to the positive fiscal note from the Department of Revenue, showing anticipated additional revenue of $550,000. Number 620 PAUL DICK, JUNEAU OPERATIONS, INCOME AND EXCISE AUDIT DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE (DOR), reiterated the comments of Representative Phillips. He stated HB 133 strengthened the position of the DOR by clarifying what was taxable. Number 630 VICE CHAIR HUDSON asked Mr. Dick how the DOR currently tracked the types of additional payments mentioned in HB 133. He asked whether processors and fishermen were presently required to disclose this information, and if so, how that information was obtained. Number 642 MR. DICK replied there were presently two ways. One was through voluntary filing, and the other was through the audit process of accounting records. Number 651 RAY GILLESPIE testified on behalf of REGIONAL AQUACULTURE ASSOCIATIONS, including Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, and two Southeast Alaska associations. He stated HB 133 had the unanimous support of the boards of all these associations. Number 656 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked whether fishermen encouraged the processors to disclose information on bonuses and other payments. Number 665 MR. GILLESPIE answered that yes, the majority of fishermen and processors complied with the law now, but there were small numbers in each region who tried to evade the taxes. He said HB 133 would help close loopholes and encourage enforcement. TAPE 93-23, SIDE B Number 000 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a MOTION to move HB 133 from committee with the positive fiscal note. Number 017 CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked whether there were any objections to the motion, and hearing none, announced the MOTION CARRIED. ANNOUNCEMENTS CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced there would be no meeting of the House Resources Committee on Friday, February 26, 1993, or on Monday, March 1. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Resources Committee, Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting at 8:53 a.m.