Legislature(2007 - 2008)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/02/2007 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 130 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
9:07:41 AM                                                                                                                    
     SENATE BILL NO. 130                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to the registration of certain vehicles                                                                   
     owned by ranchers, farmers, or dairy workers."                                                                             
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Co-Chair  Stedman  announced  intent  to report  this  bill  from                                                               
Committee at this hearing.                                                                                                      
9:08:30 AM                                                                                                                    
DARWIN  PETERSON, Staff  to Senator  Lyda Green,  sponsor of  the                                                               
bill, testified  that the need  for this legislation  was brought                                                               
to  Senator Green's  attention by  a  constituent who  is also  a                                                               
farmer. State statute provides  for licensing classifications for                                                               
numerous  types  of vehicles.  One  such  classification is  farm                                                               
Mr.  Peterson informed  that prior  to 1978  statute limited  the                                                               
weight of  vehicles registered as  farm vehicles to no  more than                                                               
15,000 pounds.  At that  time the weight  limit was  increased to                                                               
16,000  pounds  to  acknowledge that  vehicles  in  general  were                                                               
getting  larger.  This same  rationale  is  the impetus  for  the                                                               
proposed increase in this legislation to a 20,000 pound limit.                                                                  
Mr.  Peterson reported  that  many owners  of  farm vehicles  are                                                               
encountering  situations in  which  new  or replacement  vehicles                                                               
would  exceed  the current  weight  limit.  One farmer  has  been                                                               
repairing  and  refurbishing old  vehicles  to  avoid the  higher                                                               
registration fees imposed on non-farm commercial vehicles.                                                                      
9:10:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson asked  the difference in the  licensure fee amounts                                                               
of farm vehicles and non-farm vehicles.                                                                                         
9:11:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Peterson replied  that the biannual license  fee for vehicles                                                               
registered as farm vehicles is $68.                                                                                             
9:11:27 AM                                                                                                                    
DUANE BANNOCK,  Director, Division of Motor  Vehicles, Department                                                               
of Administration,  testified via  teleconference from  an offnet                                                               
location that  the Division  has no objection  to this  bill. The                                                               
State license fee for commercial  vehicles weighing 20,000 pounds                                                               
or  less is  $240 biannually.  Additional fees  are assessed  for                                                               
vehicles registered in some locations by local governments.                                                                     
Senator Dyson asked the term of the license.                                                                                    
9:12:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock answered that the licenses are valid for two years.                                                                 
9:12:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Thomas asked if the fees  were the same regardless of the                                                               
number of axles on the vehicle.                                                                                                 
9:12:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock  responded that  the Division  does not  consider the                                                               
number  of  axles but  rather  the  weight  of a  vehicle.  State                                                               
statute  contains  no  provisions  pertaining to  the  number  of                                                               
9:13:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stedman  pointed out  the zero  fiscal note  prepared by                                                               
the  Division  and asked  if  this  legislation would  incur  any                                                               
9:13:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bannock replied  that programming  changes would  be minimal                                                               
and  would   be  made   internally.  Inputting   of  registration                                                               
information  is done  manually whether  the amount  is 16,000  or                                                               
20,000  pounds. Revenue  amounts were  not adjusted  because only                                                               
approximately 600  vehicles are  currently registered  under this                                                               
provision  and less  than ten  percent  of that  number would  be                                                               
vehicles weighing between 16,000 and 20,000 pounds.                                                                             
9:14:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson understood  that this  bill would  have no  fiscal                                                               
impact to the  Division of Motor Vehicles; however,  he asked the                                                               
expense  to   other  departments.  He  gave   the  Department  of                                                               
Transportation and Public Facilities  as an example, asking about                                                               
higher   maintenance  costs   resulting  from   heavier  vehicles                                                               
traversing the roadways.                                                                                                        
9:14:53 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock could not address this.                                                                                             
Senator Olson posed the question to the sponsor.                                                                                
9:14:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Peterson  conveyed that the Department  of Transportation and                                                               
Public Facilities had reviewed this  legislation and expressed no                                                               
objection to its passage as the fiscal impact would be minimal.                                                                 
9:15:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson asked if a farmer would testify.                                                                                  
9:15:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stedman  ascertained that no other  parties were present                                                               
to testify either telephonically or in person.                                                                                  
9:15:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  asked the opinion  of those who would  be affected                                                               
by this bill.                                                                                                                   
9:16:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Peterson   told  of  testimony   given  before   the  Senate                                                               
Transportation Committee by  the farmer who brought  the issue to                                                               
Senator Green's attention. This  farmer utilizes his farm vehicle                                                               
to travel  to Canada to  purchase hay for  use on his  ranch. The                                                               
Canadian government imposes  a fee of $600 per  trip for vehicles                                                               
not registered  as farm vehicles.  Farm vehicles are  assessed no                                                               
such fee. He  was currently traveling in Canada  for this purpose                                                               
and was therefore unavailable to testify at this time.                                                                          
Mr. Peterson  continued relaying  the testimony presented  to the                                                               
Senate   Transportation  Committee   from   another  farmer   who                                                               
continually  repairs older  vehicles that  are under  the current                                                               
16,000 pound weight  restriction. These vehicles do  not have the                                                               
updated safety improvements available on newer vehicles.                                                                        
9:17:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dyson announced  that  although  the difference  between                                                               
farm  vehicle and  commercial  vehicle license  fees  is $85  per                                                               
year,  he   would  support  this   legislation  because   of  the                                                               
aforementioned  $600   fee,  an  amount  he   deemed  potentially                                                               
9:17:56 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Huggins  offered  a  motion  to  report  the  bill,  25-                                                               
LS0755\C,  from  Committee  with individual  recommendations  and                                                               
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
There was  no objection  and SB 130  was REPORTED  from Committee                                                               
with zero fiscal note #1 from the Department of Administration.                                                                 
AT EASE 9:18:30 AM / 9:22:11 AM                                                                                             

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