HJR 23: Relating to the seizure and sale of Alaska commercial fishing entry permits by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 23 01 Relating to the seizure and sale of Alaska commercial fishing entry permits by 02 the United States Internal Revenue Service. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service is engaging in the seizure and 05 involuntary sale of Alaska commercial fishing entry permits in order to collect past taxes owed 06 by commercial fishermen; and 07 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service persists in seizing and selling 08 entry permits even when the seizure results in a significant economic hardship to the 09 commercial fisherman in spite of federal law (26 U.S.C. 6343) which requires the Internal 10 Revenue Service to release a levy to avoid inflicting economic hardship on a taxpayer; and 11 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service entered into a formal 12 Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Alaska under which the Internal Revenue 13 Service agreed to cooperate with the State in good faith before selling seized entry permits; 14 and
01 WHEREAS, under the agreement with the United States Internal Revenue Service, the 02 State of Alaska has already expended more than $4,500,000 in consideration to the Internal 03 Revenue Service through the state's tax obligation loan program; and 04 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service recently sold an entry permit 05 on only two days notice to the State of Alaska and received at the sale only $5,005 for an 06 entry permit valued at $30,000; and 07 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service is promoting litigation against 08 the State of Alaska by private individuals to compel the State to accede to involuntary 09 transfers of entry permits resulting from sales conducted by the Internal Revenue Service; and 10 WHEREAS the United States Internal Revenue Service is threatening to continue 11 seizing and selling entry permits and proposes to seize even more entry permits in Alaska; and 12 WHEREAS the State of Alaska amended its constitution to allow for the issuance of 13 commercial fishing entry permits in order to conserve Alaska's fishery resources and to 14 prevent economic distress among fishermen and those dependent upon them for a livelihood; 15 and 16 WHEREAS Alaska commercial fishing entry permits are use privileges created by 17 the State of Alaska to enable commercial fishermen to engage in use of Alaska's common 18 property fishery resources; and 19 WHEREAS an entry permit authorizes a fisherman to pursue a livelihood in the 20 commercial fisheries of Alaska for the support of the fisherman and the fisherman's family 21 and dependents; and 22 WHEREAS an entry permit is a legally mandated tool of the trade without which a 23 fisherman may not fish in a limited entry commercial fishery; and 24 WHEREAS commercial fishermen who lose their entry permits are deprived of a 25 source of economic livelihood; and 26 WHEREAS the seizure and involuntary sale of an entry permit deprives the fisherman 27 of a means of support for the fisherman and the fisherman's family and dependents and of a 28 means to earn money to repay debts owed to creditors, and brings the creditors only a fraction 29 of the real value of the entry permit when the entry permit is sold; and 30 WHEREAS the State of Alaska has sought to protect the economic livelihood of 31 fishermen from loss of their entry permits through foreclosure and sale for debts; and
01 WHEREAS the seizure and sale of entry permits by the United States Internal 02 Revenue Service deprives the federal government of payments owed on back taxes by 03 depriving the permit holder of a means to raise funds to pay the debt and limits the ability of 04 the permit holder to pay other debts, including child support obligations, not to mention the 05 ability of the permit holder to earn a livelihood; and 06 WHEREAS it is in the best interest of the federal government to recoup back taxes 07 through the income earned by viable productive commercial fishing enterprises operated by 08 entry permit holders rather than to recover insignificant amounts through the sale of 09 fishermen's tools of the trade -- Alaska commercial fishing entry permits; 10 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the Alaska 11 delegation in Congress to employ all available means to obtain just relief from the actions of 12 the United States Internal Revenue Service toward commercial fishermen in Alaska by 13 (1) requiring the United States Internal Revenue Service to collect taxes from 14 dollars generated by the sale of fish and through the voluntary sale of entry permits instead 15 of through the forced sale of Alaska commercial fishing entry permits at unconscionably low 16 prices; 17 (2) ensuring that the United States Internal Revenue Service complies with 18 federal law, including its duty under 26 U.S.C. 6343 to release a levy in order to avoid 19 inflicting economic hardship on a taxpayer; and 20 (3) protecting the fishing privileges and right to work of Alaska fishermen. 21 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the 22 Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 23 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.