Legislature(2001 - 2002)
05/09/2002 09:37 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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.