Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/23/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 267(RES) Out of Committee
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 267(RES)                                                                                                
     "An  Act  requiring  the  release  of  certain  records                                                                    
     relating to big game  hunters, guided hunts, and guided                                                                    
     sport   fishing   activities  to   municipalities   for                                                                    
     verification  of taxes  payable; and  providing for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reported  that the  bill was  previously                                                                    
heard in committee on April  16, 2018 and during the morning                                                                    
meeting on April 23, 2018.                                                                                                      
1:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche  relayed concerns over  the confidentiality                                                                    
of log  book information.  He asked for  specifics regarding                                                                    
log  book  information  and whether  the  information  would                                                                    
remain  confidential when  the  municipalities received  the                                                                    
TOM BROOKOVER, DIRECTOR, SPORT  FISH DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
FISH  AND  GAME,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),  answered                                                                    
that  the  division  collected  the  information  through  a                                                                    
program  that  required  sportfishing  business  owners  and                                                                    
guides  to register  with the  Department of  Fish and  Game                                                                    
(DFG) and  to complete  a log book.  He delineated  that the                                                                    
program  included  two  guide  books;  one  for  salt  water                                                                    
fishing  and one  for  fresh water  fishing.  He listed  the                                                                    
required information:  The Division of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)                                                                    
boat  registration number  or the  United States  (US) Coast                                                                    
Guard number  along with the locations  where guide services                                                                    
were provided;  data for the  specific angler  including the                                                                    
name  or  license  number, the  catch  species,  and  number                                                                    
harvested. The sport fishing  business owner was responsible                                                                    
for turning the log book  over to the division. He furthered                                                                    
that the  program was  in place since  2005. The  purpose of                                                                    
the  program  was to  collect  data  needed for  management,                                                                    
conservation  of   the  resource,  and  regulation   of  the                                                                    
industry.  He pointed  out that  the  division conducted  an                                                                    
Annual  Statewide  Harvest  Survey (ASHS)  from  guided  and                                                                    
unguided  anglers  and  on-site  creel  surveys  (or  angler                                                                    
interviews) at specific sites on  specific times in addition                                                                    
to the logbook  program. He indicated that  the creel survey                                                                    
and the  logbooks provided  detailed information  versus the                                                                    
generalized   information  collected   via  the   ASHS.  The                                                                    
logbooks were a significant source  of data due to the level                                                                    
of  specificity provided.  In some  cases, it  was the  only                                                                    
information collected  and the  department wanted  to ensure                                                                    
the "integrity  and quality"  of the  data. He  related that                                                                    
the division questioned what purpose  the logbook data would                                                                    
serve  the municipalities.  The division  used the  data for                                                                    
fishery  management,   conservation,  and   guided  activity                                                                    
regulation, which was different  from the assumed purpose of                                                                    
verifying municipal tax reporting.  He voiced the division's                                                                    
concern regarding  the proposed  use of  the data  and noted                                                                    
that the  division was uncertain  about the  consequences of                                                                    
providing the information to municipalities.                                                                                    
1:58:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche  ascertained  that  the  logbook  location                                                                    
information did  not require GPS  data and the  location was                                                                    
only  identified by  name of  the  waterbody. Mr.  Brookover                                                                    
replied  in the  affirmative and  added that  the freshwater                                                                    
logbook  requested the  name of  lake, stream,  or river  by                                                                    
area,  and the  salt water  location was  identified through                                                                    
coded  areas. The  division provided  a  prescribed list  of                                                                    
locations for both fresh or saltwater.                                                                                          
Senator   Micciche   informed   the   committee   that   the                                                                    
information  was protected  through  AS 11.56.850,  Official                                                                    
Misconduct statutes,  and carried a Class  A misdemeanor for                                                                    
violations  and   AS  11.56.860,   relating  to   Misuse  of                                                                    
Confidential  Information another  Class  A misdemeanor.  He                                                                    
deduced that the  only reason the data would be  used was to                                                                    
determine  the number  of days  of service  provided to  the                                                                    
client and if it matched the tax information.                                                                                   
2:00:43 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM  CLARK, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  BRYCE EDGMON,  confirmed                                                                    
that   Senator  Micciche's   statements  were   correct  and                                                                    
indicated    that    the    consequences    for    breaching                                                                    
confidentiality at the municipal level was "serious."                                                                           
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked Mr.  Brookover  if  the data  the                                                                    
division  would share  with a  municipality would  contain a                                                                    
warning  against misuse.  Mr. Brookover  responded that  the                                                                    
division would  supply the information  in a  summary format                                                                    
as opposed  to the  logbook sheets  and was  consistent with                                                                    
how DFG  supplied other types  of requested  information. He                                                                    
was  uncertain   how  or   if  a   warning  in   respect  to                                                                    
confidentiality would be addressed.                                                                                             
Senator Micciche  understood that  the information  would be                                                                    
aggregated and  include the  total number  of trips  but not                                                                    
the  exact   locations.  He  asked  for   confirmation.  Mr.                                                                    
Brookover  answered in  the affirmative.  He noted  that the                                                                    
bill  used  the words  "may  release  records" and  did  not                                                                    
include  details   about  the  level  of   specificity.  The                                                                    
division  would  initially  aggregate   the  data,  but  the                                                                    
specificity  depended on  the municipalities  needs and  how                                                                    
the  activities  were  taxed.  However,  the  bill  did  not                                                                    
prohibit  the  division  from responding  to  more  specific                                                                    
requests, if  the tax  policy was  detailed and  taxed items                                                                    
like  the  number of  anglers,  specific  location, or  time                                                                    
periods.  He summarized  that the  division would  aggregate                                                                    
the  information but  provide more  detailed information  by                                                                    
request.   Senator  Micciche   emphasized  that   the  state                                                                    
"protected tax payer information  in every other aspect" and                                                                    
warned that  he would "watch"  the flow of  information. The                                                                    
legislative intent was not  to provide specific information.                                                                    
He understood that the intent of  the bill was for data that                                                                    
provided "an aggregated cross check" of information.                                                                            
2:04:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon corrected  his statement  and read  from                                                                    
the bill:                                                                                                                       
     The bill shall make hunting records and activity                                                                           
     reports available to a municipality that levels a tax                                                                      
     on those activities if  the information concerned hunts                                                                    
     or   activities  occurring   within   the  four   years                                                                    
     proceeding the date and  the municipalities request the                                                                    
     records for the purpose  of verifying taxes payable and                                                                    
     the municipality agree  to maintain the confidentiality                                                                    
     of the records.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   added  that  the   municipality  would                                                                    
receive specific information,  which was the only  way a tax                                                                    
audit could proceed.                                                                                                            
Mr.  Clark relayed  that the  municipality  the sponsor  had                                                                    
been working  closely with  employed a  simple flat  tax per                                                                    
day  on  the  fishing  and  hunting  activities  within  its                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop   referenced  testimony  that   the  lost                                                                    
revenue amounted  to between $50 thousand  and $100 thousand                                                                    
in the Lake  and Peninsula Borough. He asked  whether he was                                                                    
correct. Mr. Clark replied in the affirmative.                                                                                  
Co-Chair MacKinnon  alerted that a  fee would be  charged to                                                                    
the  municipality that  requested  the data.  She asked  Mr.                                                                    
Brookover whether the 4-year's  prior information was easily                                                                    
accessible.  Mr.   Brookover  replied  that  the   data  was                                                                    
available,  but the  division would  need  to configure  the                                                                    
data  base  and  develop  the   summary  reports  to  enable                                                                    
responses  to the  request.  He noted  the  fiscal note  had                                                                    
identified  the  implementation  costs.  Co-Chair  MacKinnon                                                                    
asked  whether  DFG would  have  to  reenter the  data.  Mr.                                                                    
Brookover responded in the negative  and reiterated that the                                                                    
summary reporting function would  need to be created because                                                                    
a municipal  boundary did not match  the division's location                                                                    
boundaries but the data itself existed.                                                                                         
2:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon cited page 1,  line 10 under AS 08.54.760                                                                    
(b) and  noted the  words, "The  department shall  make hunt                                                                    
records and  activity reports available    She turned  to AS                                                                    
16.05.815(a)  on  page 2,  lines  20  and  21 and  read  the                                                                    
following,  "The   department  and  the   Alaska  Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries  Entry Commission  may release?"  She asked  about                                                                    
the differences  between the  use of  "may" or  "shall." Mr.                                                                    
Clark was  uncertain. He  guessed that use  of the  term for                                                                    
the provision related to sport  fishing "fit most logically"                                                                    
with  existing statute  and  the  hunting records  provision                                                                    
was drafted as a new section.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  observed  that the  provision  was  not                                                                    
exclusive to sport  fishing and read the  following from the                                                                    
bill,  "?  the  landings  of  fish,  shellfish,  or  fishery                                                                    
products,  and  annual  statistical  reports  of  fishermen,                                                                    
buyers,  and  processors?"  She inquired  whether  the  area                                                                    
where the  fish was caught  would be provided to  the taxing                                                                    
authority.  Mr.  Clark  responded   that  when  the  statute                                                                    
corresponded  specifically to  the logbook  information, the                                                                    
answer was  in the affirmative. The  logbook information was                                                                    
providing  the municipality  confirmation that  the activity                                                                    
took  place  within  its  jurisdiction.  Co-Chair  MacKinnon                                                                    
wondered  whether that  applied to  commercial fishers.  Mr.                                                                    
Clark  replied that  the part  of  the provision  concerning                                                                    
commercial fishers  was long existing  and related  to large                                                                    
regions  where the  commercial  fishery  harvest was  landed                                                                    
versus where it was caught.                                                                                                     
2:11:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Stevens  listed the  three areas  in the  state that                                                                    
collected the type  of tax; the Lake  and Peninsula Borough,                                                                    
Sitka,  and  Yakutat.  He  noted that  Yakutat  was  in  his                                                                    
district and thought that the tax  was a per day tax and the                                                                    
aggregate summary  would be adequate.  He asked  whether Mr.                                                                    
Clark knew  how Yakutat structured  its tax. He  voiced that                                                                    
Yakutat  only received  half of  the  amount of  tax it  was                                                                    
owed. Mr.  Clark recalled  testimony from  Yakutat's manager                                                                    
that the tax was like a severance tax.                                                                                          
2:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop  MOVED to  REPORT  CSHB  267(RES) out  of                                                                    
committee with  individual recommendations  and accompanying                                                                    
fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                      
CSHB 267(RES) was  REPORTED out of committee  with three "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendations and  three  "no recommendation";  and                                                                    
with one  new fiscal  note from the  Department of  Fish and                                                                    
Game; one previously published zero  fiscal note: FN 1(DFG);                                                                    
and one previously published fiscal impact note: FN2 (CED).                                                                     
2:13:25 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:15:55 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB106 Additional Document-HFIN Questions Memo 2.22.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Sectional Analysis ver D 2.22.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Additional Document-SJUD Questions Memo 2.22.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Sponsor Statement 2.22.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 2.22.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Updated Sectional Analysis ver D 4.23.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106
HB106 Updated Sponsor Statement 4.23.18.pdf SFIN 4/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 106