Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

02/10/2011 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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08:23:25 AM Start
08:34:25 AM HB64
10:04:46 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 64 PERMANENT MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       February 10, 2011                                                                                        
                           8:23 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Pete Petersen                                                                                                    
Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 64                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to permanent motor vehicle registration; and                                                                   
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - BILLS PREVIOUSLY HEARD/SCHEDULED                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  64                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERMANENT MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STOLTZE, KELLER                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/10/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DARRELL BREESE, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 64 on behalf of Representative                                                              
Stoltze, joint prime sponsor.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WHITNEY BREWSTER, Director                                                                                                      
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB                                                             
64.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:23:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB LYNN called the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at 8:23  a.m.  Representatives  Keller, Seaton,                                                               
Wilson, Petersen,  Gruenberg, and Lynn  were present at  the call                                                               
to order.  Representative Johansen  arrived as the meeting was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HB  64-PERMANENT MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:34:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  only order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  64,  "An  Act  relating  to  permanent  motor  vehicle                                                               
registration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:35:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARRELL BREESE, Staff, Representative  Bill Stoltze, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  presented   HB  64  on  behalf   of  Representative                                                               
Stoltze,  joint prime  sponsor.   In  response to  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg,  he said  it was  not the  intent of  the joint  prime                                                               
sponsors to  include motorcycles  in the  bill, but  because they                                                               
are mentioned in  the fiscal note, clarification  is being sought                                                               
on that  matter.  In  response to  a follow-up question,  he said                                                               
that  although the  intent was  not to  include motorcycles,  the                                                               
joint prime sponsors  would not seek to exclude them  if it turns                                                               
out that they are included.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:37:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE said  the purpose of HB  64 is two-fold:   to make the                                                               
registration  process more  streamlined for  the consumer  and to                                                               
help the Division  of Motor Vehicles (DMV)  run more efficiently.                                                               
He  noted that  currently  Montana  is the  only  state to  offer                                                               
permanent  registration; it  does  so for  vehicles  that are  11                                                               
years old and older, and it  charges three and one half times the                                                               
regular  registration fee.   He  stated  that HB  64 proposes  to                                                               
charge  the lesser  of five  times the  regular registration  fee                                                               
established  in statute  or $100.    He said  those figures  were                                                               
arrived at in response to  information obtained from the DMV back                                                               
in  November (2010)  when the  bill was  being drafted,  and that                                                               
number differs from the fiscal  note currently available, because                                                               
of a mistake  made by the DMV.   He said should the  bill make it                                                               
to the House  Finance Committee there will be a  discussion as to                                                               
how to adjust the fiscal note to match the correct statistics.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said if  HB 64  were enacted  today, it  would affect                                                               
441,000  vehicles,  which  is  63 percent  of  all  the  vehicles                                                               
currently registered  in Alaska.   He reiterated that  this would                                                               
lighten the  workload for DMV  and make interaction with  the DMV                                                               
more user-friendly.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:41:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said that under HB  64, after 11 years  the number of                                                               
vehicles that  would be eligible  would drop by 8  percent, after                                                               
15 years  it would drop  to 44 percent,  and after 18  years that                                                               
number would  drop further  to 30  percent.   However, he  said a                                                               
decrease would  not really be  seen because the  441,000 eligible                                                               
today will increase  each year.  He noted as  a point of interest                                                               
that currently there is a  vehicle that has been registered since                                                               
1900, which would  be the oldest vehicle to qualify  under HB 64.                                                               
Mr. Breese noted  that under HB 64, people would  have the choice                                                               
of whether  to get  a permanent  registration or  continue paying                                                               
for registration every two years.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:42:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE,  in  response to  Representative  Petersen,  said  a                                                               
permanent registration  would not  transfer to a  new owner.   In                                                               
response to another  question, he indicated that a  person with a                                                               
permanent  registration would  still be  responsible for  staying                                                               
current with  inspection and  maintenance (I/M)  certification in                                                               
areas  of  the state  that  require  it,  and he  suggested  that                                                               
perhaps  a  sticker could  be  displayed  in  the window  of  the                                                               
person's vehicle to show that IM testing is current.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:44:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  another   factor  that  must  be                                                               
considered is  a driver's age.   He explained  that at age  65, a                                                               
person   gets   a   free   registration   on   his/her   vehicle.                                                               
Furthermore, he  surmised that some  people may  have specialized                                                               
plates.   He said  he thinks those  factors were  not considered,                                                               
and he would like a more  accurate analysis done.  He opined that                                                               
if the twin goals of the  joint prime sponsors are to make things                                                               
easier on  the consumer  and more  efficient for  the [division],                                                               
then perhaps  there may be  a way to factor  in whether a  car is                                                               
not  used,  for  example,  by listing  the  odometer  reading  on                                                               
penalty of perjury.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:48:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  responded that current  statute allows  for collected                                                               
car  plates,  and  that  would   not  be  changed  under  HB  64.                                                               
Furthermore, the  ability of those  65 and older to  receive free                                                               
registration is  currently in  statute and will  not change.   In                                                               
response   to   Representative    Gruenberg,   he   offered   his                                                               
understanding  that issue  of seniors  getting free  registration                                                               
was not factored into the fiscal note.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG named  two aspects  [related to  fees]:                                                               
the cost  of the plate and  the tax charged.   He queried, "We're                                                               
not dealing  here with the  plate, but  those guys still  have to                                                               
pay the tax don't they?"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE answered, "Correct."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  offered his understanding  that whether                                                               
or not someone gets a Pearl  Harbor plate or a personalized plate                                                               
is irrelevant to the discussion.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said the information  regarding taxes is  included in                                                               
the  bill [in  Section  2,  subsection (b)],  but  only covers  a                                                               
period of ten years; therefore,  it would be necessary to revisit                                                               
the issue.   He offered his  understanding of how the  process is                                                               
handled  in Montana.    He indicated  if  the municipalities  are                                                               
given the  responsibility to collect  the taxes, then  that would                                                               
save money for the state.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:52:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  if the  joint prime  sponsors would                                                               
like  to  take  out  the   $100  fee  mentioned  [in  Section  2,                                                               
subsection (b)].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said Representative Stoltze  chose to leave  the $100                                                               
fee in the  bill to encourage discussion and debate  to arrive at                                                               
the best  number.  He  said the  joint prime sponsors  think that                                                               
five times  the rate established  in statute  is fair.   He noted                                                               
that Montana's rate  is 3.7.  He pointed out  that the five times                                                               
amount was chosen based on  information from the DMV, which later                                                               
proved  to be  incorrect.   He  said  the DMV  was  off by  about                                                               
300,000 vehicles that would eligible.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE, in  response to  Representative Seaton,  he said  he                                                               
does  not   know  the  exact   number  of  those  who   do  their                                                               
registration by  mail, but offered  his understanding that  it is                                                               
approximately 60 percent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he would like  to know how many of the                                                               
in-person  visits  to   the  DMV  were  made  solely   to  pay  a                                                               
registration fee.   He asked if it is anticipated  that an effect                                                               
of bill  may be that  parents would  leave the registration  of a                                                               
vehicle  driven  by  their  offspring   in  their  name,  and  he                                                               
questioned whether that would result  in confusion at the time of                                                               
an accident.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE said  the joint prime sponsor has  not considered that                                                               
scenario.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:57:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON remarked  that the  DMV has  been a  large                                                               
revenue source for the state,  and he questioned whether the bill                                                               
may reduce the revenue stream.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE responded  that  the intent  of the  bill  is not  to                                                               
reduce the revenue  stream and shift that  burden somewhere else.                                                               
He said  the current  fiscal note was  received recently  and has                                                               
generated concern.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON explained  he was  seeking assurance  that                                                               
the  intention   is  not  to  further   concentrate  the  state's                                                               
dependence on oil taxes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:59:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  stated, "I don't  think we should  be in                                                               
the business of  creating income streams when we  don't have to."                                                               
He expressed concern that the intent  to lighten the load for the                                                               
DMV  may  actually   result  in  the  division   taking  on  more                                                               
responsibility, and he said he does  not want that to happen.  He                                                               
asked  Mr. Breese  if the  joint prime  sponsors have  considered                                                               
including commercial vehicles.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  answered  that  vehicle  weight  is  a  factor  with                                                               
commercial vehicles, and it would  be more complicated to include                                                               
them.    Currently the  state  offers  permanent registration  to                                                               
commercial trailers, he said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:01:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  said he  will maintain interest  in that                                                               
issue.   Regarding the aforementioned  I/M program, he  asked why                                                               
the  state is  "asking for  another position  and more  money" in                                                               
conjunction with a municipal program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:03:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  said he,  too,  noted  the additional  staff  person                                                               
written into the fiscal note.   He further commented that he does                                                               
not  see any  additional  responsibility that  would  have to  be                                                               
covered by  the Department of Environmental  Conservation that is                                                               
not already  addressed in  the memorandum  of understanding.   He                                                               
said he finds the addition of the staff person perplexing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN stated  that he likes the  concept of the                                                               
bill, but does not believe that  the DMV should be a money making                                                               
entity.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:04:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER,  as joint prime sponsor,  asked Mr. Breese                                                               
if  historical vehicles  and specialized  plates were  considered                                                               
for inclusion in HB 64.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  answered that the  DMV charges a separate  charge for                                                               
specialized  plates,  and  an  assumption  was  made  that  those                                                               
wanting specialized  plates would continue  to be willing  to pay                                                               
the extra  fee involved; therefore,  specialized plates  were not                                                               
included in the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER asked  Mr. Breese  to look  closer at  the                                                               
collector car issue.   He explained that collectors  want to keep                                                               
cars for a long  time, and it would be convenient  for them to be                                                               
included, or  at least have  some sort of  extended registration.                                                               
Notwithstanding  that, he  emphasized that  he does  not want  to                                                               
slow the bill process down.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  suggested that a  person with a collective  car could                                                               
choose to get  a permanent registration, but then  would not have                                                               
the special plate.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:08:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  said she  does not  think the  bill is                                                               
near to  being ready to  move out  of committee.   She questioned                                                               
the need for another person when  the work in the department will                                                               
be less.  She questioned the  proposed fee of five times the rate                                                               
established  in statute  or $100.00,  because  she said  everyone                                                               
would choose the $100 because it would be less.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:10:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said he agrees  that there is  work that needs  to be                                                               
done, primarily  based on the  fiscal note, but said  the hearing                                                               
today is  helpful in finding out  what needs to be  done, and how                                                               
much the fee should be.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:12:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN said  he wants  motorcycles included  in                                                               
the language of the bill.   He said he supports letting the House                                                               
Finance  Committee take  care  of  the fiscal  note.   He  stated                                                               
support of moving the bill out of committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:13:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  his concerns  are not  limited to                                                               
the fiscal  note.   He said  he is  not sure  that the  bill will                                                               
reach  its   goal  of  offering  convenience   to  those  getting                                                               
registrations  and   streamlining  the  DMV's  operations.     He                                                               
suggested  that  one  way  to   actually  make  money  from  this                                                               
legislation  is by  getting  money from  people  up front,  which                                                               
gives  the state  the use  of people's  money while  giving those                                                               
people a break up front.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  said if  people  pay  a two-year  registration  five                                                               
times, then the state has payment  for ten years, but the vehicle                                                               
owner may end up selling the vehicle after five years.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested that  the state may  not want                                                               
to make  it a  lifetime registration, but  may choose  instead to                                                               
specify a certain period of time and get more money up front.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  reiterated the statistics  related to attrition.   He                                                               
said vehicles get older and people buy new vehicles.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:18:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG interjected  another  factor, which  is                                                               
that  vehicles are  more expensive  and more  sophisticated these                                                               
days, and because of the economy, people keep their cars longer.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:19:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:19:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON directed  attention  to page  1, line  14,                                                               
which read,  "A permanent registration  may not be renewed."   He                                                               
asked if  the intention of  the bill is  that there will  be only                                                               
one permanent  registration entered on  a vehicle, and that  if a                                                               
vehicle  is   sold  it   would  fall   back  into   the  two-year                                                               
registration cycle,  or that if a  person buys a vehicle  that is                                                               
over ten years old, then  he/she will automatically qualify for a                                                               
permanent registration.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  responded  that  the  intent  is  that  the  vehicle                                                               
registration  would  not be  transferable.    He offered  further                                                               
details, and  said he thinks  the language  of the bill  could be                                                               
improved to clarify this issue.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:21:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE,  in  response  to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Seaton, explained  that the state  collects the taxes  on vehicle                                                               
registrations  that are  imposed by  certain municipalities.   He                                                               
said it is  convenient for the municipality, and  the state makes                                                               
8  percent for  that service.   He  said the  issue of  whether a                                                               
person would get  back taxes paid on a  permanent registration if                                                               
that person  sold the car soon  afterward would have to  be taken                                                               
up with the municipalities.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked Mr.  Reece  to  find out  what  the                                                               
positions of  the municipalities  are regarding  that issue.   He                                                               
then asked  why a permanent  registration would not work  for all                                                               
vehicles.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:26:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  said permanent vehicle registration  for all vehicles                                                               
would  be  easier,   and  he  surmised  that   shifting  the  tax                                                               
collection  back to  the  municipalities would  result  in a  big                                                               
savings for the  state; however, he said that  since the majority                                                               
of  vehicle sales  occur after  the first  five years  of vehicle                                                               
ownership,  permanent  registration  instated  for  all  vehicles                                                               
would result in a loss in revenue.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:27:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN asked  if the  bill would  inadvertently                                                               
encourage  older vehicles  to be  on  the road  longer than  they                                                               
otherwise might.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE said  that factor  was considered,  but he  suggested                                                               
that may  be a subject for  another bill.  He  surmised that most                                                               
people  want to  drive  safe  vehicles, and  the  bill would  not                                                               
increase  the number  of  those who  are  already driving  unsafe                                                               
vehicles.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:29:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WHITNEY  BREWSTER, Director,  Division of  Motor Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department  of Administration,  estimated  that approximately  75                                                               
percent  of vehicle  registration transactions  are done  outside                                                               
the DMV offices,  either through the Internet,  through the mail,                                                               
or through  one of the  division's business partners, such  as at                                                               
an  I/M station.   She  relayed that  the DMV  moved to  biennial                                                               
registration  in 1997,  with the  hope that  that would  decrease                                                               
wait time at  the DMV, and that was successful.   She stated that                                                               
conceptually the  DMV does not oppose  the permanent registration                                                               
of  vehicles,  but  the  division's concern  is  related  to  the                                                               
administration of  such a  change.   Regarding the  motor vehicle                                                               
registration tax  and having municipalities collect  it, she said                                                               
presently there are 16 municipalities  for which the DMV collects                                                               
that tax in accordance with AS  28.10.431.  She said that statute                                                               
mandates that motor  vehicle registration tax is  to be collected                                                               
in  the same  manner in  which registration  fees are  collected;                                                               
therefore, she  questioned whether the municipalities  would have                                                               
the  statutory authority  under current  statute to  collect that                                                               
tax.   She  said  not  all municipalities  have  adopted the  fee                                                               
schedule in statute, but they  have the ability, by ordinance, to                                                               
adopt a separate  fee schedule that is more than  what is set out                                                               
in  the schedule;  therefore, there  may  be a  fiscal impact  to                                                               
those  municipalities.    She  said  currently  there  are  seven                                                               
municipalities that have adopted a separate fee schedule.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:33:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BREWSTER,  regarding the  fiscal  note,  said regardless  of                                                               
whether the  number of vehicles  [to get  permanent registration]                                                               
is 90,000  or 443,000, there  will be a  revenue loss.   She said                                                               
the  division factored  in many  assumptions to  get an  accurate                                                               
figure.  She  directed attention to the fiscal  note, which shows                                                               
that  in  2012,  there  will be  an  estimated  221,600  vehicles                                                               
eligible for permanent registration.   She explained that that is                                                               
about half  of the  443,000 vehicles that  would be  eligible for                                                               
permanent registration  under HB 64,  with the other  half coming                                                               
up for renewal in 2013.  She  said in 2014 and beyond, there will                                                               
be  a  loss  of  revenue,  which would  have  been  made  through                                                               
biennial registration.   She said  a second factor is  that there                                                               
would be  a slight increase for  motorcycle registration, because                                                               
motorcycle  registration   currently  is   less  than   the  $100                                                               
mentioned in  the bill.   She stated  that the division  made the                                                               
assumption  that  motorcycles  would  be included  under  HB  64,                                                               
because  the  bill  references   registration  procedures  in  AS                                                               
28.10.108,  which includes  motorcycles.   She explained  that is                                                               
why motorcycles are included in  the fiscal note.  She reiterated                                                               
that the  division is not opposed  to the bill, but  is concerned                                                               
about how it would administer it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:36:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BREWSTER,  in response to Representative  Gruenberg, said the                                                               
division did not factor in that  many of the people with old cars                                                               
are  already getting  free registration  because they  are 65  or                                                               
older, but she  said she does not think  that would significantly                                                               
change the numbers.   She explained that  although gathering that                                                               
statistic  seems  simple,  it  is   not,  because  in  the  DMV's                                                               
mainframe  system,  vehicles  are  not connected  to  a  person's                                                               
driver's  license,  because a  person  does  not  have to  own  a                                                               
driver's license to own a vehicle in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   said  he  would  like   to  see  that                                                               
statistic.   He talked about  the United States  Postal Service's                                                               
"forever stamps."   He  stated his assumption  that from  time to                                                               
time  motor vehicle  registration fees  go  up, and  he asked  if                                                               
having "forever plates" would entice people.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREWSTER said  that is an interesting concept.   She said the                                                               
legislature  sets the  DMV's  fees; therefore,  it  would be  the                                                               
purview of  the legislature to consider  that.  She said  the DMV                                                               
would not be opposed to any  changes in those fees, because those                                                               
fees go directly to the general fund.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:39:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  mentioned  the concept  of  selling  a                                                               
house  and  having  reserves  from  having  prepaid  taxes.    He                                                               
suggested  that the  plates  could be  associated  with the  car,                                                               
rather than the owner, which he  said would increase the value of                                                               
the car because of the prepaid taxes.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BREWSTER  responded that that is  a new concept that  the DMV                                                               
has not considered.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  said he thinks that  concept is outside of  the scope                                                               
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:40:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BREWSTER,  in response  to  a  question from  Representative                                                               
Seaton, offered  her understanding that  under HB 64,  anyone who                                                               
elects permanent registration would pay  the lesser of five times                                                               
the   motor   vehicle   registration   tax  or   $100.      Those                                                               
municipalities that have set a  fee schedule that is greater than                                                               
what is  set in statute  would see a  decrease in the  taxes that                                                               
are collected.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:42:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said  the House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee  has  the  jurisdiction  between the  state  and  local                                                               
municipalities,  and  this is  a  case  where  the state  may  be                                                               
overriding statutory  authority for  municipalities to  set their                                                               
fee rates.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BREWSTER,  in response to the  chair, said she does  not have                                                               
any specific suggestions on that  issue, and cannot speak for the                                                               
local governments.   She  said she  just wanted  to bring  it up,                                                               
because the  issue would  impact municipalities  and there  is no                                                               
one currently present  to speak on their behalf.   In response to                                                               
the chair,  she said she  knows that the Alaska  Municipal League                                                               
(AML) is interested in this issue.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said since this  issue will impact seven of                                                               
the  most populous  communities, it  is important  to figure  out                                                               
what  the  impacts   will  be  and  hear   testimony  from  those                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:45:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER echoed  Mr.  Breese's  statement that  the                                                               
proposed  legislation would  benefit both  Alaskans and  the DMV.                                                               
In regard to the possible  impact to municipalities, he suggested                                                               
that the  Alaska Municipal League  could share its  concerns with                                                               
the House Finance Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:46:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN said  the bill has been  noticed for five                                                               
days and no one from the  municipalities has stepped forward.  He                                                               
stated his assumption  that the issue must not  be that important                                                               
to them if they have not shown up.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   said  another  possibility   is  that                                                               
representatives of  the municipalities  may not  yet be  aware of                                                               
this legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN remarked that it is  not the fault of the committee if                                                               
municipalities don't read a notice.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:48:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  referred to the title of  the bill, and                                                               
observed  that it  does  not say  anything  about a  municipality                                                               
having to take over responsibility.   She added that she does not                                                               
intend to hold up the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN noted  that Ms.  Brewster had  said that                                                               
the municipalities indicated to her  that they were interested in                                                               
HB 64.   He  further relayed  that he used  to be  a professional                                                               
lobbyist and,  during that  time, looked at  every bill  that was                                                               
announced.  He opined that  there is no excuse for municipalities                                                               
not attending to a bill of interest to them.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:49:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN  asked Ms.  Brewster what she  meant when                                                               
she said the municipalities have an interest in the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:49:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BREWSTER  indicated that an  AML lobbyist had inquired  as to                                                               
the possible  impact of  the proposed  bill on  local government,                                                               
but said since there was no  impact reflected in the fiscal note,                                                               
the DMV was unable to answer that question.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:51:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE,  in response to  Representative P.  Wilson's concern,                                                               
indicated  that HB  64 does  not  address what  happens to  motor                                                               
vehicle tax  beyond a certain  period, which  is why that  is not                                                               
reflected  in  the  bill  title.   Regarding  the  suggestion  to                                                               
include commercial  vehicles, he  said it  would be  necessary to                                                               
consider  the depreciation  of commercial  vehicles and  how long                                                               
the vehicles are maintained.  In  response to Chair Lynn, he said                                                               
he does  not think there  are any issues  in the bill  that could                                                               
not be addressed in the next committee of referral.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:53:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN closed public testimony.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:53:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN opined  that because  so many  questions                                                               
have been raised regarding HB 64, it  is not ready to move out of                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:53:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that the  House State  Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee is  the committee  of jurisdiction  regarding                                                               
the interaction between state and municipal  laws.  He said HB 64                                                               
would  change  the  authorities that  municipalities  have  under                                                               
current statute  to set schedules regarding  motor vehicle taxes,                                                               
which would  significantly reduce  municipalities' revenues.   He                                                               
said the committee has not heard  from any municipality.  He said                                                               
a number  of issues  have been  raised, but  are unanswered.   He                                                               
noted  that the  committee  has  not heard  from  the  DMV as  to                                                               
whether the bill  would streamline its work.  He  opined that the                                                               
bill is not ready to move out of committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:56:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  echoed the comments  of Representatives                                                               
Petersen and  Seaton that this bill  has had no work  done on it,                                                               
and he recommended  taking time on it.  He  said, "You can't just                                                               
wink at  these issues."  He  opined that the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee  is a  good committee that  should do  its job                                                               
and "not just pass it out for political expediency."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN responded that no one  would pass out this or any bill                                                               
for political expediency.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:57:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  said no  one can state  another person's                                                               
intent for voting  to move a bill  out of committee.   He said he                                                               
learned from Ms. Brewster that  including motorcycles would raise                                                               
costs, which he relayed is not his wish.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:58:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE,  in response  to Representative  P. Wilson,  said the                                                               
joint  prime sponsors  would like  the  bill moved  to the  House                                                               
Finance Committee where the financial impacts can be addressed.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:59:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER expressed his  confidence that the issue of                                                               
financial impact can be address in the House Finance Committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:00:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to report  HB 64  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Keller, Johansen,                                                               
and Lynn  voted in favor  of moving HB  64 out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations   and  the  attached   fiscal  notes.                                                               
Representatives  Seaton, Gruenberg,  and  Petersen voted  against                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  said,   "I  think  it   should  have                                                               
amendments - pass with amendments."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  asked Representative  P. Wilson for  clarification of                                                               
her vote.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN requested an at-ease.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:03:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  original roll call vote  would be                                                               
voided.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:03:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to report  HB 64  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   LYNN   reminded   committee   members   that   individual                                                               
recommendations could  be the following:   do pass, do  not pass,                                                               
no recommendation, or amend.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:03:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:03:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Johansen,  P.                                                               
Wilson, Keller,  and Lynn voted in  favor of moving HB  64 out of                                                               
committee  with  individual   recommendations  and  the  attached                                                               
fiscal  note.   Representatives Seaton,  Gruenberg, and  Petersen                                                               
voted  against it.   Therefore,  HB 64  was reported  out of  the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee by a vote of 4-3.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:04:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee meeting was  adjourned at 10:05                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB0064A.pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 64
02 HB 64 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 64
03 HB 64 support Montana Law.pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 64
04 HB 64 Background and research v2.pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 64
05 HB064-STA-DOA-DMV-02-04-11.pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 64
06 HB064-DEC-AQ-02-04-11 (2).pdf HSTA 2/10/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 64