Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

02/22/2006 01:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 265 BONDS OF BOND BANK AUTHORITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 265 Out of Committee
+= SB 193 DEFERRAL OF MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 247 REVENUE SHARING PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
*+ SB 246 APPROP TO REVENUE SHARING FUND TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                       February 22, 2006                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Gary Stevens, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 265                                                                                                             
"An Act increasing  the total amount of bonds and  notes that the                                                               
Alaska Municipal  Bond Bank Authority  may have  outstanding; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     MOVED SB 265 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 193                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to an  optional deferral of  municipal property                                                               
taxes  on  certain  primary  residences  owned  and  occupied  by                                                               
individuals with  incomes at or below  federal poverty guidelines                                                               
for the state."                                                                                                                 
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 247                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the  revenue sharing program;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 246                                                                                                             
"An Act  making a special  appropriation from the  Alaska capital                                                               
income fund  to the  revenue sharing fund;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 265                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BONDS OF BOND BANK AUTHORITY                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEDMAN                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/03/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/03/06       (S)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
02/15/06       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/15/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/06       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
02/22/06       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 193                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEFERRAL OF MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BUNDE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
05/04/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/04/05       (S)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
01/30/06       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               

01/30/06 (S) -- Rescheduled to 02/08/06 -- 02/08/06 (S) CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 02/08/06 (S) Heard & Held 02/08/06 (S) MINUTE(CRA) 02/15/06 (S) CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 02/15/06 (S) Heard & Held 02/15/06 (S) MINUTE(CRA) 02/22/06 (S) CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 WITNESS REGISTER SENATOR CON BUNDE Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor SB 193 ANDY HERRINGTON Fairbanks, AK POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 193 STEVE VAN SANT, State Assessor Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development PO Box 110800 Juneau, AK 99811-0800 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 193 MARIE DARLIN Capital City Task Force for AARP Juneau, AK POSITION STATEMENT: Stated support for SB 193 ACTION NARRATIVE CHAIR BERT STEDMAN called the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:31:30 PM. Present were Senators Thomas Wagoner, Gary Stevens and Chair Bert Stedman. SB 265-BONDS OF BOND BANK AUTHORITY 1:32:21 PM CHAIR BERT STEDMAN announced SB 265 to be up for consideration. He noted that public testimony was taken at the previous hearing then asked if anyone else had questions or comments. Finding none, he asked for a motion. 1:32:59 PM SENATOR GARY STEVENS motioned to report SB 265 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. There being no objection, it was so ordered. SB 193-DEFERRAL OF MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES 1:33:30 PM CHAIR BERT STEDMAN announced SB 193 to be up for consideration and asked for a motion to adopt the committee substitute (CS). SENATOR GARY STEVENS moved \G version CS for SB 193 for discussion purposes. CHAIR STEDMAN called a brief at ease at 1:35:18 PM. 1:37:44 PM CHAIR STEDMAN asked Senator Bunde to comment on the CS. SENATOR CON BUNDE, Sponsor of SB 193, explained he changed the title and removed "owned and occupied by individuals with incomes at or below the federal poverty guidelines for the state". In Section 1 the requirement of 10 years occupancy in the home was changed to eligibility for a permanent fund dividend. That streamlines the requirement with current statute relating to the senior and veteran exemptions. Page 1, line 13, (C) increases the income requirements to three times the federal poverty guidelines. That allows municipalities more discretion in choosing eligibility guidelines. He noted that the last two changes were made at the Chair's request. Page 2, line 2 deals with partial ownership. It requires that all owners maintain the property as a primary residence; that they are eligible for a permanent fund dividend; and that the combined income is less than three times the federal poverty guideline. Page 2, line 10, (b) requires that all owners apply annually. Page 2, line 18, (c) allows municipalities to record a lien on the property to ensure that they would be reimbursed. CHAIR STEDMAN asked if he was comfortable with the bill in its current form. 1:39:41 PM SENATOR BUNDE replied yes. He then emphasized that the bill is designed as a local option. CHAIR STEDMAN asked if the reason for the bill is that under current statute communities don't have the flexibility to offer the deferral. SENATOR BUNDE responded if this were established in statute more communities would probably consider offering residents this option. He reiterated that people in catastrophic circumstances shouldn't have to worry about losing their property due to an inability to pay property taxes. CHAIR STEDMAN asked about anticipated participation. SENATOR BUNDE replied anecdotal evidence indicates that there is considerable interest in the option. CHAIR STEDMAN asked him to clarify that there isn't an age limit. He then reiterated the requirements listed previously. SENATOR BUNDE said correct. Some people have suggested that the senior deferral [exemption] be increased, but that program is an unfunded mandate. CHAIR STEDMAN opened public testimony. 1:43:05 PM ANDY HERRINGTON, Fairbanks, testified via teleconference to state support for SB 193. 1:44:50 PM STEVE VAN SANT, State Assessor, Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development clarified that the senior program is an exemption rather than a deferment. He advised that most assessors see this as a useful tool, but some municipalities have expressed concern that there is no ability to collect interest on the deferred property tax. CHAIR STEDMAN asked about anticipated participation. MR. VAN SANT replied it's hard to say, but in the five years he was an assessor in Anchorage about a dozen or so people came forward who would have benefited from this proposal. CHAIR STEDMAN asked if this would impact the senior hardship exemption. MR. VAN SANT explained that very few senior hardship exemptions are applied for or granted. This would offer municipalities an option other than granting an outright exemption. 1:49:43 PM SENATOR BUNDE referenced the concern Mr. Van Sant voiced about municipalities not receiving interest on the deferred taxes and said he still views this as a win-win situation. The municipality would eventually get its money. 1:51:23 PM MARIE DARLIN, Capital City Task Force for AARP, reported that a supporting letter had been submitted. She expressed the view that the \G version CS improves the bill further. 1:52:23 PM CHAIR STEDMAN reiterated there is no tie between SB 193 and the current $150,000 senior property tax exemption. There was no further testimony and he closed the public hearing. CHAIR STEDMAN stated that he didn't have a quorum so he would hold SB 193 in committee. There being no further business to come before the committee, Chair Stedman adjourned the meeting at 1:54:24 PM.

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