HB 306: "An Act relating to an optional municipal tax credit for costs of certain river habitat protection improvements."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 306 01 "An Act relating to an optional municipal tax credit for costs of certain river 02 habitat protection improvements." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 29.45 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05  Sec. 29.45.046. RIVER HABITAT PROTECTION TAX CREDIT. (a) A 06 municipality may by ordinance provide for a river habitat protection credit to be 07 applied to offset a portion of the property taxes due on land, or an interest in land 08 taxable under this chapter, upon which an improvement has been constructed that aids 09 in 10  (1) protecting the Kenai River or a tributary of the Kenai River from 11 degradation due to public or private use; or 12  (2) restoring riparian fish habitat in the Kenai River or a tributary of 13 the Kenai River that has been damaged by land use practices. 14  (b) The amount of a river habitat protection credit shall be based upon a

01 percentage of the verifiable costs of the improvement and may not exceed 50 percent 02 of the total amount of taxes levied upon the land or upon the taxable interest in the 03 land during a single tax year, but the credit may be granted for more than one year. 04 The ordinance may limit the availability of a credit to some, but not all types of 05 improvements for which a credit may be granted under this section and to some, but 06 not all areas of the municipality. A credit may only be granted for an improvement 07 that has been constructed in compliance with state and federal laws and certified by 08 the Department of Fish and Game under (c) of this section. A credit may not be 09 granted for an improvement 10  (1) required under state or federal law, or as a condition of a permit for 11 or exemption from a requirement for land development granted by the federal, state, 12 or municipal government; 13  (2) constructed or designed solely to prevent natural erosion; 14  (3) constructed or designed primarily to provide commercial access to 15 a stream or river; or 16  (4) located more than 150 feet from the ordinary high water line; in this 17 paragraph, "ordinary high water line" means that line on the shore of a nontidal river 18 or stream that reflects the highest level of water during an ordinary year and is 19 established by fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as 20 a clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, 21 destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other 22 appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding area. 23  (c) The Department of Fish and Game shall by regulation establish criteria to 24 be used in determining whether an improvement is effective in accomplishing the 25 purposes listed in (a)(1) or (2) of this section. Upon application by the owner of land 26 or taxable interest in land, the department shall certify whether an improvement meets 27 the criteria established under this subsection.