Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/16/2009 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 10 MUNICIPAL TAXES: COSTS/EXEMPTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 10(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 50 IDITAROD REGISTRATION PLATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 16, 2009                                                                                           
                         1:36 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 1:36 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas, Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                     
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Sharon Long,  Staff, Senator Charlie Huggins;  Representative                                                                   
Max Gruenberg, Sponsor; Dr. Douglas  North, President, Alaska                                                                   
Pacific University (APU)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mike  Couturier,  Anchorage  Police  Department  Association;                                                                   
Steve  Van  Sant, State  Assessor,  Department  of  Commerce,                                                                   
Community and Economic Development                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 50     "An Act relating to Iditarod finisher special                                                                         
          request license plates."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          SB 50 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with zero fiscal note #1                                                                     
          by the Department of Administration.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 10     "An Act authorizing a borough to charge a city for                                                                    
          costs of collecting certain taxes; relating to a                                                                      
          mandatory exemption from municipal property taxes                                                                     
          for residences  of certain widows or  widowers, and                                                                   
          to  optional  exemptions  from  municipal  property                                                                   
          taxes    for   property   of   certain    fraternal                                                                   
          organizations,  for certain  college property,  and                                                                   
          for  certain  residential property;  and  providing                                                                   
          for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 10 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                      
          "no recommendation" and with zero fiscal note #1                                                                      
          by the Department of Commerce, Community and                                                                          
          Economic Development.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:36:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 50                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to Iditarod finisher special request                                                                      
     license plates."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SHARON LONG,  STAFF, SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS, noted  that SB
50 has a zero fiscal note.   It  authorizes the Department of                                                                   
Administration  to issue  special  request Iditarod  finisher                                                                   
license  plates.    Qualification   as  a  finisher  will  be                                                                   
determined  by the  Iditarod Trail  Committee.   Design  work                                                                   
must  be approved  by the  Department  of Administration  who                                                                   
will  work  with   the  Trail  Committee  and   the  Official                                                                   
Finishers Club to  come up with a design.   The race finisher                                                                   
must have an automobile registered  in the state of Alaska on                                                                   
which the plates  will be displayed.  The  legislation honors                                                                   
mushers  who  have  endured  the  challenges  and  shown  the                                                                   
courage and  ability to  compete in  the Iditarod Trail  Sled                                                                   
Dog Race.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   noted  that   the  Committee   heard  the                                                                   
companion bill to SB 50 last week.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze pointed  out the  zero fiscal  note by  the                                                                   
Department of Administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker MOVED  to REPORT SB 50 out  of Committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB  50  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  zero   fiscal  note  #1   by  the                                                                   
Department of Administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       1:42:10 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    1:44:29 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act authorizing  a  borough to  charge  a city  for                                                                   
     costs  of  collecting  certain   taxes;  relating  to  a                                                                   
     mandatory  exemption from  municipal property  taxes for                                                                   
     residences  of  certain   widows  or  widowers,  and  to                                                                   
     optional  exemptions from   property taxes  for property                                                                   
     of certain fraternal organizations,  for certain college                                                                   
     property,  and  for certain  residential  property;  and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MAX GRUENBERG,  SPONSOR, explained  that CSHB
10 (CRA)  is an omnibus property  tax exemption.   He related                                                                   
that  the  first   section  in  the  bill  was   proposed  by                                                                   
Representative  Chenault  and  provides  that a  borough  may                                                                   
charge a city a fee for the actual  costs of collecting a tax                                                                   
that is not  also levied by a  majority of the cities  in the                                                                   
borough  or  by  the  borough  on an  area-wide  basis.    He                                                                   
understood that this section was  at the request of the Kenai                                                                   
Peninsula Borough.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg reported  that Section 2 of the bill                                                                   
is an amendment  that was added on the House Floor  in HB 67.                                                                   
It would allow  a widow or widower of a disabled  veteran who                                                                   
had qualified  for an exemption  for taxes on a  residence to                                                                   
continue  to  qualify for  a  property  tax exemption.    The                                                                   
exemption would  terminate if the widow or  widower remarried                                                                   
prior to age 60.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg  described Section 3  as a provision                                                                   
for   Alaska   Pacific  University   (APU);   however   other                                                                   
institutions would also qualify.   The section was previously                                                                   
mandatory, and now it is optional.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:47:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gruenberg referred  to page 2,  line 18.   He                                                                   
reported that  the purpose of  this section is to  permit the                                                                   
municipality  to continue  to  collect tax  on the  leasehold                                                                   
interest, if the  property itself is exempt  from taxation by                                                                   
ordinance.   He pointed out  that the statutory  reference on                                                                   
page 3,  line 10, was  incorrect.  He  noted that  a proposed                                                                   
amendment would clear up the ambiguity.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg related  that Section 4, which deals                                                                   
with  fraternal   organizations,  was  offered   by  Co-Chair                                                                   
Stoltze.   Section 5  is the "cop  in the neighborhood"  bill                                                                   
that encourages police to move into high crime areas.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara noted that  the bill was heard last year.                                                                   
He had a question about the proposed amendment.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:50:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  DOUGLAS  NORTH,  PRESIDENT,  ALASKA  PACIFIC  UNIVERSITY                                                                   
(APU),  informed  the Committee  that  last  December 16  the                                                                   
Anchorage   Assembly   passed   a   resolution   urging   the                                                                   
legislature to  put forward legislation that  would allow APU                                                                   
to  level the  playing field  between APU  and UAA  regarding                                                                   
property  tax  exemption.    He related  that  APU  has  been                                                                   
providing enormous  services to Anchorage and  Alaska for the                                                                   
last  fifty years.   In  addition to  running a  park in  the                                                                   
middle of  Anchorage and providing  sports services,  APU has                                                                   
contributed $200 million to the  Anchorage economy.  He noted                                                                   
letters in  support of the  bill from former  Anchorage mayor                                                                   
Mark  Begich,   Mark  Hamilton,   President,  University   of                                                                   
Alaskan, and the state and municipal  assessors.  All parties                                                                   
are in favor of the legislation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Dr. North agreed with the proposed amendment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:53:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wanted to know if Amendment  1 addresses                                                                   
the  issue   of  property   that  is  for-profit,   leasehold                                                                   
interests.  He was concerned about  a medical office building                                                                   
on  the  APU  campus  that was  leased  to  physicians.    He                                                                   
maintained that it  should not be exempt from  taxation.  Dr.                                                                   
North agreed.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  asked for clarification of the  $200 million                                                                   
amount  APU has  contributed  to  Anchorage's  economy.   Dr.                                                                   
North explained  that it  was money put  into the  economy of                                                                   
Anchorage;  half  in  salaries  to employees  and  half  from                                                                   
goods, services, and construction.   Co-Chair Hawker asked if                                                                   
other  entities that  have  contributed  more to  Anchorage's                                                                   
economy deserve  higher tax breaks.   Dr. North  thought that                                                                   
idea carried weight with the Anchorage Assembly.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Dr. North explained APU's status  as a land grant university.                                                                   
He pointed out that APU only provides  services which bear no                                                                   
cost to Anchorage or to the state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:56:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman referred  to Representative  Gara's                                                                   
question about  lease agreement  buildings.  He  wondered how                                                                   
many other lease  agreements there were.  Dr.  North reported                                                                   
that  there were  no  others.   He explained  that  it was  a                                                                   
former  concern  that APU  would  become a  massive  property                                                                   
owner and disadvantage the private  sector in the development                                                                   
of land.   He  pointed out  that the  current legislation  is                                                                   
optional  on the  part of  any  municipality responsible  for                                                                   
property taxation, and APU owns no other property.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  asked  if the  building  was  for-                                                                   
profit  and if  APU turned  that income  back into  services.                                                                   
Dr. North said that was correct.   Required within the Bureau                                                                   
of  Land Management  agreement is  that any  income from  the                                                                   
development  of  campus land  be  put back  into  educational                                                                   
expenses that are tied to the medical building itself.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:58:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  COUTURIER,  ANCHORAGE  POLICE  DEPARTMENT  ASSOCIATION,                                                                   
testified  in support  of HB 10.   He  pointed especially  to                                                                   
Section 5, which  deals with tax exemptions  for officers who                                                                   
live in high crime areas.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough asked  what entails  a high  crime                                                                   
area in  Anchorage.   Mr. Couturier  did not  know the  exact                                                                   
definition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked  how many  police  officers                                                                   
live  in the  Anchorage area.   Mr.  Couturier reported  that                                                                   
there were 418  police officers, of which 385  are members of                                                                   
the Association, with about 30 who live in the Valley.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough   inquired  if   "law  enforcement                                                                   
officer"  would change  that answer.   Mr. Couturier  replied                                                                   
that four  members are  Community Service  Officers or  Peace                                                                   
Officers.  Representative  Fairclough asked if  the intent is                                                                   
for any officer  who moves into a high crime  area to qualify                                                                   
for the  exemption.   Mr. Couturier  thought the  legislation                                                                   
was intended for  police officers holding a  certificate, not                                                                   
support staff.   There are  approximately 180  support staff.                                                                   
Representative Fairclough thanked Mr. Couturier.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Salmon  asked Dr. Nelson how Section  3 of the                                                                   
bill  would benefit  APU.   Dr. Nelson  explained that  money                                                                   
from the  property lease goes  to APU to support  its budget.                                                                   
If those  monies are  taxed, it would  reduce the  amount APU                                                                   
would receive that could be put  toward educational purposes.                                                                   
Representative  Salmon  asked   if  private  physicians  were                                                                   
renting from APU.  Dr. Nelson  said they were.  He emphasized                                                                   
that  only  APU  would  benefit   from  this  tax  exemption.                                                                   
Representative  Salmon  asked if  this legislation  would  be                                                                   
financially beneficial to APU.  Dr. Nelson said it would.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:05:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative     Gruenberg      answered     Representative                                                                   
Fairclough's question  about what  consisted of a  high crime                                                                   
area in  Anchorage.   He pointed  to page 4,  lines 17  - 26,                                                                   
where a high crime area is defined.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  added  that  the  city  can  choose  to                                                                   
include subsets of high crime  areas, according to subsection                                                                   
(e) on  page 4.   Representative  Gara pointed  out that  the                                                                   
city can choose  whichever level of police officer  they want                                                                   
to include.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:07:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  referred to Mr. Van  Sant's letter                                                                   
where he  stated that the  exemption was unusual  because tax                                                                   
bills  would  now be  sent  to  the lessee  rather  than  the                                                                   
property owner.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  VAN  SANT, STATE  ASSESSOR,  DEPARTMENT  OF  COMMERCE,                                                                   
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,  explained that currently                                                                   
all university property used for  education is exempt.  Under                                                                   
this legislation,  any APU land or property  leased out would                                                                   
be treated  like the  University of  Alaska's land  where the                                                                   
lease  holder  is  taxed.   The  amendment  would  not  allow                                                                   
Anchorage to  foreclose on the  property if the tax  were not                                                                   
paid.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough referred  to the Sectional Analysis                                                                   
of  the bill.   She  noted that  in  Section 1  a borough  is                                                                   
permitted  to charge  a fee for  costs of  collecting a  tax.                                                                   
She wondered  if "borough" and  "municipality" could  be used                                                                   
interchangeably.  Mr. Van Sant  explained that municipalities                                                                   
in  Alaska  are  boroughs  or cities.    A  borough  collects                                                                   
property tax and  sales tax and gives the money  to the city.                                                                   
Section  1  says if  a  city  charges  a different  tax,  the                                                                   
borough  can   charge  a  collection  fee.     Representative                                                                   
Fairclough requested further clarification.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked if  any municipalities have  subunits                                                                   
in  Alaska.    Mr.  Van  Sant   explained  that  borough  and                                                                   
municipality  are used  interchangeably.   He reiterated  his                                                                   
interpretation  of  Section  1.    Representative  Fairclough                                                                   
wanted  to be  sure that  the municipality  of Anchorage  can                                                                   
charge lessees  or the  university a  fee for managing  their                                                                   
accounts.  She  requested that if APU has leases  which cause                                                                   
expense  to Anchorage  taxpayers,  those  expenses should  be                                                                   
recouped.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Van  Sant pointed  out that Section  1 deals  with cities                                                                   
and  boroughs  only.   The  municipality  of Anchorage  is  a                                                                   
unified   municipality.   Anchorage   would  have   to   have                                                                   
individual assessments for APU's  leases, and the legislation                                                                   
prohibits Anchorage  from taxing APU  for any land  leased to                                                                   
the  university.   The bill  states that  every lessee  would                                                                   
receive  an individual  tax  bill.   It  could cost  slightly                                                                   
more;  however, if  there are  collection  problems it  could                                                                   
cost  a  lot  more.    If  there   are  collection  problems,                                                                   
Anchorage cannot  foreclose on the  property, it can  only go                                                                   
after each individual lessee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  opined that the City  of Anchorage                                                                   
would have to incur additional  costs.  She shared an example                                                                   
where  that happened  with condos.   She asked  if Section  1                                                                   
could provide  an opportunity  for a  municipality to  recoup                                                                   
additional charges, including potential court costs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gruenberg  pointed  out  that Section  1  was                                                                   
offered by Speaker  Harris.  He saw the  point Representative                                                                   
Fairclough  was  making.   He  thought  it would  require  an                                                                   
amendment.  He did not wish to delay the bill further.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:16:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dr. North  clarified that  there was  only one private  lease                                                                   
holder on  the property.   Representative Fairclough  pointed                                                                   
out  that  UAA  was  also  trying  to  generate  income  from                                                                   
rentals.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  questioned  the  effects  of  the                                                                   
exemption  on the  student  base allocation.    Mr. Van  Sant                                                                   
referred  to page  3,  line 5,  subsection  (E), which  talks                                                                   
about how  an assessor  would treat  properties that  are not                                                                   
exempt, such as the Spine Institute  at APU.  Any educational                                                                   
property is exempt.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:18:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  cautioned  that even  though  all                                                                   
exemptions  look like  worthy  causes, in  the  Chugiak/Eagle                                                                   
River  area, there  is  unrest about  the  property tax  cap,                                                                   
which needs  to be upheld in  a different way. She  related a                                                                   
personal  story  about  her  own high  tax  situation.    She                                                                   
wondered about the cost of the  tax credit to Anchorage.  She                                                                   
noted she  supported the bill  during the last session.   Now                                                                   
the bill  seems to shifts costs  to Anchorage.   She wondered                                                                   
what it would cost Anchorage should the bill pass.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Van Sant addressed the exemption  for APU.  The exemption                                                                   
for university  property  exists whether  the bill passes  or                                                                   
not.  He gave  a hypothetical example of what  happens if the                                                                   
bill  passes.   The  property  tax  will  be taxable  to  the                                                                   
lessee, not  the university.   The bill just assigns  who the                                                                   
amount is taxable to.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked if  educational  facilities                                                                   
were   tax  exempt.      Mr.  Van   Sant   said  they   were.                                                                   
Representative Fairclough wondered  why in 2005 the municipal                                                                   
assessor issued tax assessments.   Mr. Van Sant reported that                                                                   
the  Spine  Institute,  which  is not  used  exclusively  for                                                                   
educational purposes, is taxable.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:24:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked   Dr.  North  if  the  bill                                                                   
applies  exclusively to  the Spine Institute  property.   Dr.                                                                   
North said  it did.   Representative  Fairclough asked  where                                                                   
APU is  in the appeal  process.  Dr.  North related  that APU                                                                   
asked the assembly to urge the  legislature to pass this bill                                                                   
because  only  the  legislature  can  approve  an  exemption.                                                                   
Representative Fairclough  suggested that the  contract could                                                                   
be rewritten.   She wondered if  APU had paid any of  the tax                                                                   
on the property.  Dr. North reported  that they have escrowed                                                                   
that amount.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  explained   that  the  legislation                                                                   
gives the municipality  the option of making  this exemption.                                                                   
Co-Chair Stoltze agreed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  asked if the  municipality avails  itself of                                                                   
the options  the bill  offers, how much  tax burden  would be                                                                   
shifted.   Representative  Gruenberg  replied  that with  the                                                                   
exception of the  "cop in the neighborhood",  very little tax                                                                   
burden would be  shifted.  He thought it would  be about $500                                                                   
per year  for Section 1.   He pointed  out that Section  2 is                                                                   
mandatory.   Section  3  relates to  one  piece of  property.                                                                   
Section   4,   which   is   the   provision   for   fraternal                                                                   
organizations,  is  optional  and  must be  ratified  by  the                                                                   
voters.  He spoke of another amendment  that was removed that                                                                   
would have raised the optional  residential property tax from                                                                   
$20,000 to  $40,000.  He concluded  that he did not  know how                                                                   
much tax burden would be shifted.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:28:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  described  the   unknown  outcome  of  this                                                                   
legislation as de  minimis.  He was reluctant  to support the                                                                   
bill and upset constituents in Anchorage.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  spoke to  the  issue  of too  many  tax                                                                   
exemptions  in Anchorage.   He  called it an  issue of  local                                                                   
control.   He  asked about  Section 3  regarding the  medical                                                                   
building on the APU campus.  He  wondered if the building was                                                                   
taxable under  existing law.   Dr.  North explained  that the                                                                   
amendment would shift the tax  burden to the medical building                                                                   
rather than  APU.  There is  a difference between  lease hold                                                                   
interest and direct property tax.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  agreed  that  the  building  should  be                                                                   
taxed, as it currently was, because  it is not being used for                                                                   
education purposes.   Dr. North said it was being  taxed.  He                                                                   
clarified that the amendment provides the exception.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  what the  bill means without  the                                                                   
amendment and how it differs from current law.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:32:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gruenberg  restated that  the  intent of  the                                                                   
amendment  was  to  confirm  that  the  underlying  structure                                                                   
should be  tax exempt, but  the leasehold interest  should be                                                                   
taxable.  The amendment corrects a drafting error.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wondered if there was a  problem letting                                                                   
the city tax APU, which would  then adjust the tenant's rent.                                                                   
Dr.  North explained  that  there  was a  difference  between                                                                   
lease hold interest and direct property assessment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
In   response  to   a   question  by   Representative   Gara,                                                                   
Representative   Gruenberg  clarified   that   Representative                                                                   
Fairclough's concern  was not specific to Section  1, but was                                                                   
whether the concept  "should there be a provision  that would                                                                   
allow other  recoupments"  should be added  as an  amendment.                                                                   
He hated to delay the bill further.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:35:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara said he had misunderstood.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  returned  to  the  question  about                                                                   
collecting  the  tax through  the  lease holder,  versus  the                                                                   
owner of the property.   Dr. North clarified that  there is a                                                                   
diminishment  over time with  a lease,  whereas there  is not                                                                   
with the  owner.  He  shared that he  was very surprised  the                                                                   
first time  APU was  taxed.  Under  the current lease,  taxes                                                                   
were not  included.  APU is  seeking, under the  BLM mandate,                                                                   
to  take the  lease  money  and  dedicate it  to  educational                                                                   
purposes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked how  Providence Health Care  System's                                                                   
properties are  dealt with  for tax purposes.   Mr.  Van Sant                                                                   
said  those are  taxed  directly  to Providence  Health  Care                                                                   
System.  For any exemption, if  a portion of the land is used                                                                   
for anything  but the  exempt purpose,  that portion  is pro-                                                                   
rated and taxed.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly pointed  out  that the  bill had  grown                                                                   
considerably.     He  asked  why  Section  3   (E)  was  even                                                                   
necessary.    Representative  Gruenberg  explained  that  the                                                                   
provision  was added by  the former  House Finance  Co-Chair,                                                                   
Representative Meyer.  Each of  the sections is a stand-alone                                                                   
provision.  He related that the APU building is unusual.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly interjected that  the reason  Section 3                                                                   
(E)  was  added  was  to  give  APU  a  tax  advantage.    He                                                                   
questioned if the BLM provision  attempted to make the tax on                                                                   
APU the same as the university's tax.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:41:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dr. North  shared his  understanding of  the situation.   The                                                                   
municipality of  Anchorage was wrestling with  the problem of                                                                   
how to grant  the exemption.   The answer was to  involve the                                                                   
legislature.  The function of  the bill is to convey the same                                                                   
kind of  tax exemption  to APU  as the  University of  Alaska                                                                   
would receive.   Representative Kelly asked  whether that was                                                                   
the only way to accomplish the  exemption.  Dr. North thought                                                                   
the amendment was necessary because  the property is private.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg reiterated  that the APU building is                                                                   
unique because  classes are taught  there and  students train                                                                   
there.  Dr. North affirmed that  it has a partial educational                                                                   
function.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:43:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough wished  for further  clarification                                                                   
of the consequence  of this legislation upon  Anchorage.  She                                                                   
asked  if  Anchorage  were  to  bill  APU  directly  for  the                                                                   
property, if  the tax bill  would be  higher or lower  due to                                                                   
the amendment.   Mr. Van  Sant did not  know the term  of the                                                                   
lease.   Currently, the annual  tax bill is around  $200,000.                                                                   
If the lease was long term, such  as 50 years, it would still                                                                   
be $200,000; if the lease was  for 15 years, it would be half                                                                   
that amount.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked  for  Dr.  North's  opinion                                                                   
whether  the  tax  would  be  higher  if  the  city  assessor                                                                   
directly billed  APU on  the lease, or  if the city  assessor                                                                   
issued  individual   assessments  per   lease.     Dr.  North                                                                   
reiterated that  there was only  one lease.  He  related that                                                                   
the lease  hold interest tax is  a lower tax than  the direct                                                                   
property tax that is currently being charged.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  summarized that the  net effect to                                                                   
the property taxpayers  in Anchorage would be  reduced income                                                                   
from  a piece  of property  that has  not been  taxed for  47                                                                   
years,  plus  additional  cost  for collection.    Dr.  North                                                                   
thought  there  were  no additional  costs.    Representative                                                                   
Fairclough  understood Mr.  Van Sant  to say  there was  more                                                                   
than one  lease.  Dr. North  maintained that it was  a single                                                                   
corporation, the Alaska Spine Institute.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   Page 3, lines 10 - 11:                                                                                                       
   Delete all material.                                                                                                         
   Insert "a private leasehold, contract, or other interest                                                                     
   in the property is taxable to the extent of the                                                                              
    private interest;"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas  suggested if the concern  of the Committee                                                                   
is loss  of property  tax revenue,  the state senior  citizen                                                                   
tax exemption could be repealed.   He suggested letting local                                                                   
municipalities deal  with such issues.   He spoke of  how cap                                                                   
limits and  bonds are related  as they pertain to  the senior                                                                   
citizen tax exemption.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted  one   zero  fiscal  note  from  the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:49:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas  MOVED to  REPORT  CSHB  10 (FIN)  out  of                                                                   
Committee,  as amended, with  individual recommendations  and                                                                   
the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  10  (FIN)  was  REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  and   with  zero  fiscal  note   #1  by  the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:49 PM.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
.                                                                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Expalanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Amendment 1 P.2.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
SB50 PR Iditarod Plates 022609.doc HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 3/9/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/10/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 50
SB 50 Sectional.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 3/9/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/10/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 50
SB 50 Sponsor Stmt final.doc HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 3/9/2009 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/10/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 50
HB0010-1-1-022709-CED-N.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Sponsor Statement FIN.doc HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Sectional CSHB10(CRA).doc HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Letters of support.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Opposition Letter HB10.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
Van Sant testimony.pdf HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10
moa Testimony for CS HB 10.doc HFIN 3/16/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 10