Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

02/07/2013 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 19-PERM. MOT. VEH. REGISTRATION/TRAILERS                                                                       
1:07:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be HB 19, HOUSE BILL  NO. 19, "An Act relating to permanent                                                               
motor vehicle registration; relating  to the registration fee for                                                               
noncommercial  trailers   and  to  the  motor   vehicle  tax  for                                                               
trailers; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
1:07:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BILL STOLTZE,  Alaska State  Legislature, related                                                               
that a bill similar to HB 19 was  heard last year.  Last year, he                                                               
said he  asked to have the  bill sent back to  committee for more                                                               
deliberations  to address  issues.   He said  he believes  in the                                                               
committee  process.   He stated  HB 19  would provide  owners the                                                               
convenience  of being  able to  register their  trailer once  and                                                               
receive   a  permanent   registration.     He  stated   that  his                                                               
constituents  prefer not  to deal  with government  on a  regular                                                               
basis.  Further,  HB 19 would also address an  equity issue since                                                               
commercial trailers  have a favorable  tax treatment  compared to                                                               
non-commercial  trailers.    This   bill  would  also  allow  for                                                               
permanent registration of personal-use  motor vehicles older than                                                               
eight years.                                                                                                                    
1:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE acknowledged  that the  eight-year figure                                                               
was arbitrary,  but after vehicles  reach a certain age  it seems                                                               
reasonable  the  person  should have  the  option  for  permanent                                                               
registration.   Further,  this option  became available  with the                                                               
dismantling  the Inspection  and  Maintenance (IM)  program.   He                                                               
explained that the Municipality  of Anchorage's emissions testing                                                               
affected Matanuska-Susitna  commuters, but the removal  of the IM                                                               
program   now   allows   for   the   possibility   of   permanent                                                               
registration.  He related some  fiscal issues still exist with HB
19.    He characterized the IM program  and two-year registration                                                               
as revenue generators for the  Department of Administration.  Not                                                               
all  fiscal issues  have been  resolved, such  that even  today a                                                               
revised fiscal  note was  issued to  remove some  assumptions the                                                               
department used.  He suggested  that committee members can make a                                                               
determination  on  the  fiscal   implications  as  the  committee                                                               
considers  policy issues;  however,  he cautioned  members to  be                                                               
skeptical  of assumptions  made by  departments, which  rely upon                                                               
revenues.    He  surmised  members  could  decide  whether  these                                                               
revenues  belong in  the state's  pocket, or  their constituents'                                                               
pockets, which  he characterized as  being a common  sense issue.                                                               
Under  HB  19,  the  permanent   registration  program  would  be                                                               
optional  for  individuals.    Additionally,  the  community  can                                                               
decide  whether  to  collect  revenues   so  a  local  option  is                                                               
included.  He understood "Talk  Radio" in Southcentral Alaska has                                                               
been pretty charged up about this  issue.  Even though he has not                                                               
promoted  this   publicity,  the  issue  grew   from  spontaneous                                                               
comments  by   constituents  and  as  a   representative  he  was                                                               
responsive to their needs.                                                                                                      
1:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS disclosed she  owns two vehicles that would                                                               
fall under the category of  vehicles being older than eight years                                                               
old.   She  has also  received  numerous calls  and e-mails  from                                                               
constituents who  support the  concept in  HB 19.   She  said she                                                               
also owns commercial trailers that  she only registers once.  She                                                               
related she  also has  snowmachine trailers,  and while  she does                                                               
pay  the fees,  she  admitted  she doesn't  always  get the  tags                                                               
adhered to  the trailer on a  timely basis.  She  reiterated many                                                               
constituents have the same issue.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  disclosed that  he has  also owns  an old                                                               
boat trailer and an old truck.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  says his  personal  vehicles  are all  over                                                               
eight years  old and  he also  owns a  vacation trailer  over two                                                               
years old.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE  remarked that people  are busy and  to have                                                               
to  register  vehicles every  two  years  is time  consuming  and                                                               
generates little  revenue.  He  asked, "Why not just  register it                                                               
once and be done with it?  It certainly is a legitimate point."                                                                 
1:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   LYNN  suggested   he   likely   pays  less   for                                                               
registration  since he  is a  senior citizen.   He  asked whether                                                               
vehicle registration for seniors  is available for vehicles eight                                                               
years or older under the bill.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE   deferred  to  the  Division   of  Motor                                                               
Vehicles (DMV) to answer.   He recalled that seniors are entitled                                                               
to one vehicle exemption.                                                                                                       
1:17:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS said  he  read a  letter from  the                                                               
Alaska  Municipal League  (AML).   He recalled  she commented  on                                                               
revisions to  a bill last  year that led  to the AML  to withdraw                                                               
its opposition and be neutral on  the bill.  He asked whether the                                                               
sponsor could speak to the revised provisions.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE  answered  the revised  bill  included  a                                                               
well-defined local option.   He suggested the AML  may still have                                                               
some concerns, although he was unsure.                                                                                          
1:18:46 PM                                                                                                                    
DARRELL BREESE, Staff, Representative  Bill Stoltze, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of  the bill  sponsor,  referred to  one                                                               
concern that  AML had  last year,  which was  that municipalities                                                               
would not  be able  to collect  motor vehicle  registration taxes                                                               
(MVRT) at  the time  of registration.   However, changes  to last                                                               
year's  bill, which  is  also  reflected in  HB  19, would  allow                                                               
municipalities to  set a MVRT  for vehicles  registered permanent                                                               
registration.   He briefly  described the  process municipalities                                                               
would  use,  including  that  local   government  would  pass  an                                                               
ordinance to  allow it  to collect  MVRT for  vehicles registered                                                               
permanently or for non-commercial trailers.                                                                                     
1:20:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BREESE stated  Section 2 of HB 19 would  allow vehicle owners                                                               
an  option  to  obtain  a   permanent  vehicle  registration  for                                                               
vehicles  that  are  eight  years  or older  or  to  continue  to                                                               
register  their vehicle  biennially.   Owners would  pay the  DMV                                                               
fees based on the vehicle age  and other factors, plus a one-time                                                               
$25 fee for  permanent registration.  He suggested  the DMV would                                                               
likely   add  a   box  on   registration   forms  for   permanent                                                               
registration,  as well  as supply  a tab,  sticker, or  plate for                                                               
permanent registration.                                                                                                         
MR. BREESE reported  that currently seniors are  allowed a single                                                               
motor  vehicle registration  exemption.   He  turned to  proposed                                                               
Section 3 of  the bill and explained that a  senior citizen would                                                               
need to decide whether to pay  the $25 for permanent exemption or                                                               
apply for the senior exemption from  the DMV.  He reiterated that                                                               
this section does  not set out a specific  exemption for seniors;                                                               
however, if  he was a senior,  he would likely choose  the senior                                                               
citizen  exemption  but  to  do so  would  mean  registering  the                                                               
vehicle biennially.                                                                                                             
1:23:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BREESE  pointed out that  Section 4 refers  to non-commercial                                                               
trailers,  such  as  recreational trailers,  boats,  snowmachines                                                               
horse  trailers.   This  proposed section  would  allow the  non-                                                               
commercial trailer owner  to pay the $30 fee, plus  a $25 fee for                                                               
permanent registration  which is an  option.  He pointed  out the                                                               
two-year registration is still allowed.                                                                                         
MR.  BREESE said  while the  language  is not  necessary for  the                                                               
bill, Section  5 was  left in  the statutes  allow municipalities                                                               
the  option  to  implement  any  IM program  if  the  program  is                                                               
1:24:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BREESE explained  that Section 6 would set out  the base rate                                                               
for the MVRT.   He referred to  the change on page 4,  line 9, to                                                               
an option for  any permanent vehicle registration  tax imposed by                                                               
municipalities.   Currently municipalities have the  authority to                                                               
set a  MVRT, but not  all municipalities do  so.  He  recalled 16                                                               
communities  currently  have a  MVRT  with  varying rates  and  a                                                               
listing  of  these communities  is  in  members' packets  titled,                                                               
"MVRT  Collections  by  Community."    In fact,  the  MVRT  is  a                                                               
municipal tax  and not a state  tax, he said.   Currently the DMV                                                               
collects  the  MVRT  for  municipalities  and  retains  an  eight                                                               
percent fee to collect the tax.                                                                                                 
1:26:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS understood  the  person has  an option  to                                                               
apply  for  permanent  registration.     She  asked  whether  the                                                               
permanent registration is transferable.                                                                                         
MR.  BREESE answered  no.   He explained  that sales  are treated                                                               
like any other vehicle sale.                                                                                                    
1:27:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BREESE referred  to Section 7, and to page  4, lines 22-23 of                                                               
HB  19.   He  explained that  only one  registration  tax may  be                                                               
collected.    Under  proposed  Sections  8-9,  the  state  cannot                                                               
collect  more  than $100  in  MVRT  for vehicles  with  permanent                                                               
registration.   Thus, if Matanuska-Susitna Borough  (MSB) set the                                                               
MVRT at  $300, the maximum amount  the DMV would collect  is $100                                                               
and the MSB would need to collect the $300 MVRT.                                                                                
MR.   BREESE  turned   to  Section   8,  which   highlights  that                                                               
municipalities  can set  a MVRT  as they  see fit.   The  sponsor                                                               
discovered while working  with AML last year  that collecting the                                                               
MVRT could  be a burden to  some municipalities and since  he did                                                               
not  wish to  adversely  impact municipalities,  the bill  allows                                                               
local government  to establish its own  MVRT rate.  In  doing so,                                                               
local  governments  would  establish  the proposed  MVRT  tax  by                                                               
ordinance,  which would  also allow  communities to  obtain input                                                               
from residents.                                                                                                                 
MR.  BREESE  stated,  as  mentioned   earlier,  Section  9  would                                                               
establish  that  the  DMV  would  not  collect  more  than  $100;                                                               
however, this provision  is not a cap, but  would simply transfer                                                               
the  responsibility to  collect  any MVRT  greater  than $100  to                                                               
municipalities or cities that impose the tax.                                                                                   
1:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS asked for  the clarification on the                                                               
intent of Section 9.                                                                                                            
MR. BREESE responded  that the sponsor's intent is  to keep taxes                                                               
low.   Further, some confusion  exists on  whether the MVRT  is a                                                               
state or  municipal tax  and this section  would address  this by                                                               
identifying the MVRT as a local  tax imposed by a municipality or                                                               
a city and not the state.                                                                                                       
1:31:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS asked  how many municipalities have                                                               
taxes greater than $100, if any.                                                                                                
MR. BREESE referred  to a list in members'  packets, titled "MVRT                                                               
Collections  by  Community."    He explained  that  once  a  non-                                                               
commercial  vehicle  reaches eight  year  in  age, the  DMV  fees                                                               
flatten  out.   He pointed  out the  only community  that charges                                                               
more than $100 is Unalaska and  Dutch Harbor, which sets the MVRT                                                               
at $116,  while the  remaining communities MVRT  rate is  $100 or                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE clarified  this bill refers to  the MVRT and                                                               
not to a property tax.                                                                                                          
1:33:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  referred to the  sponsor statement                                                               
which  read,  "Permanent  registration  will  result  in  a  cost                                                               
savings for Alaskans."  He  suggested this would translate to tax                                                               
relief and not necessarily to cost savings.                                                                                     
MR. BREESE deferred to DMV to  attest to any cost savings for the                                                               
state; however, he thought most  vehicles are registered on-line.                                                               
Any cost savings for Alaskans  would accrue after two years since                                                               
the permanent  registration is a  one-time fee of $25  fee rather                                                               
than the current  biennial tax.  Thus these  vehicle owners would                                                               
no longer  have to pay fees  for the remaining time  they own the                                                               
vehicle, he said.                                                                                                               
1:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHIE  WASSERMAN, Executive  Director,  Alaska Municipal  League                                                               
(AML), reported the AML is currently  neutral on HB 19.  She said                                                               
the AML  is awaiting  reports from the  16 municipalities  on the                                                               
financial impacts  for each  community.   She offered  her belief                                                               
most  municipalities  currently  use   the  MVRT  fees  for  road                                                               
maintenance or junk car removal.                                                                                                
1:35:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked  whether  the DMV  would  issue  a                                                               
special tag so owners would avoid tickets.                                                                                      
1:36:43 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY  ERICKSON,  Director,  Division   of  Motor  Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA),  stated that if  a permanent                                                               
registration fee  is implemented  the DMV  would issue  an orange                                                               
tag, which  would be distinguished  from other tags.   In further                                                               
response to  Representative Johnson, she  answered it would  be a                                                               
tag and  not a special plate.   In response to  another question,                                                               
she  answered that  the DMV's  revenues  total approximately  $70                                                               
million.      She  clarified   that   the   DMV's  revenues   are                                                             
approximately $70 million and  their expenses total approximately                                                               
$17 million.                                                                                                                    
1:38:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  how  many people  renew online  as                                                               
opposed to in person registration.                                                                                              
MS.   ERICKSON  answered   that  approximately   11  percent   of                                                               
registrations are done in house and the rest are renewed online.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if certain staff  were dedicated to                                                               
online versus in house.                                                                                                         
MS.  ERICKSON  answered that  the  DMV  does not  dedicate  staff                                                               
specifically  to conduct  online or  in house  transactions.   In                                                               
further  response to  a question  she agreed  that the  DMV staff                                                               
rotates and is not dedicated to performing one function.                                                                        
1:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether anything would  prevent the                                                               
Municipality of  Anchorage (MOA) from setting  up a substantially                                                               
higher MVRT.                                                                                                                    
MS. ERICKSON  answered that  nothing in  the bill  would prohibit                                                               
the MOA from setting a higher MVRT.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON questioned whether  the bill should have a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  FEIGE indicated  public testimony  would be  kept                                                               
open on HB 19.                                                                                                                  
[HB 19 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 19 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB 19 Supporting DMV Registration Classes.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB19 Support Motor Vehicle Registration Taxes Rates.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB19 Version A.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB-19 Opposition letter.msg HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB 15-A.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 15 Fed Standard CMV.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 15 Norcom Support.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 15 Sponsor.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB015-DOA-DMV-2-01-13.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB015-DOT-MSCVE-2-2-2013.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB15 ACG Support ltr.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 15 CMV less than 14K.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 15 Support Ltr Ondola.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB 19 Support Hansen.msg HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019-DOA-DMV-2-07-13.pdf HTRA 2/7/2013 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 2/14/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 19