Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/09/2002 09:37 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 521(CRA)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to municipal improvement areas."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
AMY ERICKSON,  staff to Representative Lisa Murkowski,  Chair of the                                                            
House  of  Representatives   Labor  and  Commerce  Committee   which                                                            
sponsored this bill, informed  the Committee that this bill proposes                                                            
language clarification  to address  "certain ambiguities  in current                                                            
statute relating to municipal  improvement areas" by specifying that                                                            
municipalities  could use general  obligation and revenue  bonds for                                                            
"tax increment  financing."  She stated  this bill  also widens  the                                                            
definition  of "a blighted  area;" thereby  providing for  increased                                                            
redevelopment  opportunities.  She continued  that these changes  to                                                            
existing  law would  increase  a community's  ability  to "shape"  a                                                            
comprehensive  development plan and  she asserted, "that  successful                                                            
urban renewal  projects are most successful  when the State  commits                                                            
its resources to property improvements and new developments."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #2: This amendment  deletes "and general obligation bonds"                                                            
and  inserts   "general  obligation   bonds,  and  other   forms  of                                                            
indebtedness"  in Section 1, line 8 of the bill to  read as follows.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  municipality  may issue  the bonds  as general  obligation                                                            
     bonds  or as  revenue  bonds  or as  a combination  of  revenue                                                            
     bonds,   general   obligation  bonds,   and   other  forms   of                                                            
     indebtedness.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman moved for adoption of Amendment #2.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly objected for discussion.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
At ease 10:28 AM / 10:28 AM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly withdrew his objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 10:30 AM / 10:31 AM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Note: Equipement  recording  difficulties  prevented the  following                                                            
segment of the meeting from being recorded.]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB EVANS,  a representative of an  Anchorage construction  company,                                                            
explained the differences  between an unimproved area and a blighted                                                            
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green  asked whether this  legislation changes the  public's                                                            
involvement in the process.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Evans responded that it does not.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ward  asked whether  land  located  adjacent  to a  vacated                                                            
trailer  park in a  designated blighted  area would  be affected  by                                                            
this legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Evans responded  that while this in not the intent  of bill; the                                                            
land's owner  could participate  in a joint  venture to improve  the                                                            
area  with  such things  as  construction  of  a road,  which  would                                                            
increase the value of the adjacent property.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Evans responded to  a question from Senator Ward by stating that                                                            
the language in this bill clarifies the ambiguity.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ward  asked  whether  a  municipality  should  use  general                                                            
obligation  (GO)   bonds  or  revenue  bonds  to  address   blighted                                                            
property.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Evans responded  that a city could use any form  of indebtedness                                                            
to pay for revenue bonds.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TIM  ROGERS,  Legislative   Program  Coordinator,  Municipality   of                                                            
Anchorage  stated  that this  legislation  would  allow incremental                                                             
taxes to  be used to fund  public purpose  projects. He stated  that                                                            
the  city would  support the  allowed  funding options  either  with                                                            
local taxes or with collateral.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ward asked  whether these GO or Revenue bonds  could be used                                                            
to support other projects.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers replied  that the money would be designated  specifically                                                            
for public projects.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly ordered the Bill to be HELD In Committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[This bill is re-addressed after the recess.]                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RECESS TO CALL OF CHAIR 10:39 AM / 5:58 PM                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[NOTE: Recording resumes.]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 521(CRA)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to municipal improvement areas."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[This bill was addressed earlier in the meeting.]                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Green offered  a motion "to  move HB  521 out of  Committee                                                            
with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objections,  SCS CS  HB 521(FIN)  was REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee  with a previous  zero fiscal note,  dated April  22, 2002                                                            
from the Department of Community and Economic Development.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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