Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)


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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
           SB 45-PARKS & REC SERVICE AREA BOUNDARIES                                                                        
3:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP announced the consideration of SB 45.                                                                              
3:30:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   CATHY  GIESSEL,   Alaska  State   Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
explained that  SB 45 deals  with an  issue that is  happening in                                                               
the  Municipality  of Anchorage.  She  explained  that there  are                                                               
sections in  Anchorage that, over  time, have been  excluded from                                                               
taxation for the parks in the  Anchorage area. She said the areas                                                               
in question have significant parks  within them and residents are                                                               
essentially not  contributing to the  upkeep of those  parks. She                                                               
specified  that   SB  45   is  a   request  from   the  Anchorage                                                               
municipality to  correct the tax  exclusion oversight in  the tax                                                               
3:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE CONWAY,  Staff, Senator  Giessel, Alaska  State Legislature,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska, provided  a sectional analysis on  SB 45. Section                                                               
1 amends the  statute to allow a borough  or unified municipality                                                               
to  change boundaries  of  a Parks  and  Recreation Service  Area                                                               
(PRSA)  to include  a subdivision  or  parcel that  is wholly  or                                                               
partially  within the  exterior  boundaries of  the service  area                                                               
without voter  approval. She revealed that  currently there needs                                                               
to be voter approval in order  to incorporate a service area that                                                               
is not currently included for taxation.                                                                                         
SENATOR MACKINNON  asked if SB  45 requires an effective  date or                                                               
if just the day the bill is signed is sufficient.                                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL  replied that she will  check on the need  for an                                                               
effective date.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR STEDMAN  stated that recognizing the  dense population of                                                               
Anchorage relative to  everywhere else, does the  structure of SB                                                               
45 effect Fairbanks or any other populated areas.                                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL answered that Anchorage  is the only municipality                                                               
that is effected by SB 45.                                                                                                      
3:33:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR EGAN joined the committee meeting.                                                                                      
SENATOR  STEDMAN  asked  how  Anchorage's  parks  and  recreation                                                               
boundary relates to the municipality's  lines. He inquired if the                                                               
municipality can change its boundaries.                                                                                         
SENATOR  GIESSEL replied  that the  municipality itself  actually                                                               
extends  to  Girdwood and  Portage,  moving  eastward to  include                                                               
Eagle River and Chugiak as well.                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON added  that there is more than one  PRSA in the                                                               
Municipality  of Anchorage.  She specified  that Eagle  River and                                                               
Anchorage have separate  PRSAs. She said Anchorage  may choose to                                                               
bond  for  an  improvement  and   the  folks  that  live  in  the                                                               
geographic area benefit predominantly  from those, folks in Eagle                                                               
River have  a PRSA  and they  tend to save  their money  and then                                                               
invest in purchasing  a park. She pointed out  that Anchorage has                                                               
at least two different PRSAs.                                                                                                   
3:35:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP asked  to  confirm  that the  map  provided to  the                                                               
committee shows  where the current  PRSA boundary is  in addition                                                               
to the areas outside of the boundary.                                                                                           
SENATOR GIESSEL  specified that the  affected areas noted  on the                                                               
map of Anchorage  indicate where parcels will be  included in the                                                               
PRSA should  SB 45  be approved. She  noted that  the subdivision                                                               
parcels  include  Stuckagain Heights  and  an  area near  Chugach                                                               
State Park.                                                                                                                     
3:37:24 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  RODDA,  Director,  Parks and  Recreation,  Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage, Anchorage,  Alaska, specified that the  map identifies                                                               
the  existing boundaries  for the  municipality of  Anchorage. He                                                               
confirmed  that   Chugach/Eagle  River  has  its   own  PRSA.  He                                                               
specified that  the PRSA boundary  noted on the Anchorage  map is                                                               
the border from the unification of  the city and the borough that                                                               
occurred 40  years ago.  He explained that  the border  has never                                                               
been  modified  or  adjusted.  He  surmised  that  nobody  really                                                               
thought at the time that  Anchorage would grow beyond the border.                                                               
He  summarized  that  development  has occurred  over  the  years                                                               
beyond the  PRSA boundary and SB  45 moves the line  to bring the                                                               
exempt parcels into  a more equitable relationship  with the rest                                                               
of Anchorage's taxpayers.                                                                                                       
3:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN  confirmed  that Anchorage's  current  PRSA  map                                                               
shows a dated  municipal boundary that has  become irrelevant due                                                               
to expansion.  He summarized that  SB 45 essentially  is borough-                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL answered correct. She  specified that the way the                                                               
law is currently  written, over 60 percent of  the residents that                                                               
live  in  the area  have  to  vote to  become  part  of the  PRSA                                                               
taxation  structure.  She  revealed   that  areas  that  are  not                                                               
included  in the  PRSA  have  parks located  in  their area  that                                                               
nearby residents  are not  paying taxes  for. She  explained that                                                               
approximately $168  million worth  of tax-valued property  is not                                                               
contributing to the PRSA tax base.                                                                                              
SENATOR MACKINNON asked if SB  45 impacts any other service areas                                                               
in Alaska  and noted that  Fairbanks has fire service  areas. She                                                               
inquired what  specifically SB 45  allows in regards  to changing                                                               
the existing boundary.                                                                                                          
3:42:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS  WHEELER, Municipal  Attorney, Municipality  of Anchorage,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, replied that the focus  for SB 45 is solely on                                                               
PRSA  and  the bill  is  not  meant  to  address other  kinds  of                                                               
services areas like fire or police  services. He said he does not                                                               
know whether  other jurisdictions in  the state have a  PRSA, but                                                               
other areas could take advantage of SB 45 if they had a PRSA.                                                                   
He noted  that addressing what  occurs with  existing boundaries,                                                               
SB 45  allows the local governing  body to make an  adjustment by                                                               
ordinance through  public hearing. He explained  that the process                                                               
entails the following:                                                                                                          
   · Ordinance proposed to Anchorage Assembly.                                                                                  
   · Ordinance noticed.                                                                                                         
   · Ordinance proceeds to the affected community councils.                                                                     
   · Residents and councils weigh in on the proposal.                                                                           
   · Assembly can make adjusts that it feels is in the best                                                                     
     interest of the citizens.                                                                                                  
MR.  WHEELER added  that SB  45 also  gets rid  of the  dual-vote                                                               
requirement. He  asserted that the  dual-vote is  inequitable and                                                               
explained that  even if all  of the residents in  Anchorage voted                                                               
to  include  the  properties  to   spread  the  tax  burden,  the                                                               
specified property  owners have  special veto powers  to override                                                               
the measure.  He summarized  that the  dual-vote is  a governance                                                               
concept that goes  counter to what is normally thought  of as the                                                               
one person/one vote concept.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP commented  that he  would  like to  check with  the                                                               
Fairbanks North Star Borough.                                                                                                   
SENATOR EGAN added  that he would like to check  with the City of                                                               
3:44:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP stated that seeing  no additional testifiers, public                                                               
testimony is  closed. He  announced that  SB 45  will be  held in                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB43 Ver W.PDF SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 43
SB45 Bill Version A.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB45 Parks and Rec Service Area Boundaries vsn A.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB45 Support Letter MOA 2-12-15.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB43 Fiscal Note DOTPF.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 43
SB43 Fiscal Note DPS.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 43
SB43 Fiscal Note DOTPF.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 43
SB 43 Sponsor Statement.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 43
SB45 Fiscal Note.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Sponsor Statement.pdf SCRA 2/17/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 45