Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-02-05 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0263
SB 102                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 102 by the Senate Rules Committee by request                   
of the Governor, entitled:                                                     
"An Act relating to municipal property tax                                    
exemptions for certain residences and to property                              
tax equivalency payments for certain residents; and                            
providing for an effective date."                                              
was read the first time and referred to the Community and Regional             
Affairs and Finance Committees.                                                
Zero fiscal notes published today from Department of Community                 
and Regional Affairs (2) and Department of Administration.                     
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 5:                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill relating to the mandatory and optional                
property tax exemptions for residences of senior citizens, disabled            
veterans and their widow or widowers, and to property tax                      
equivalency payments for certain residents.                                    
The bill provides for municipalities to offer tax exemptions to these          
people and repeals the mandatory property tax exemption.  The bill             
also repeals  the provision for  state reimbursement  to municipalities        

1993-02-05                     Senate Journal                      Page 0264
SB 102                                                                       
for property tax revenue lost to the municipality by operation of the          
mandatory tax exemptions.  Also, the bill repeals the provision for            
a property tax equivalency payment from the state to persons who               
rent a residence but would otherwise qualify for a mandatory tax               
exemption (the "renter's rebate" program).  Finally, the bill has a            
retroactive effective date to January 1, 1993.                                 
Due to declining state revenue, it has become apparent over the past           
several years that the state can no longer afford to fully pay for the         
municipal reimbursement program for the mandatory senior citizen               
or disabled veteran property tax exemptions.  As a result,                     
municipalities have not been reimbursed in full for the tax revenue            
lost due to the mandatory property tax exemptions.  This bill will             
allow municipalities to decide whether they wish to exempt such                
property from taxation in whole or in part.  If they choose to                 
exempt the property, they will, of course, lose tax revenue, but that          
decision will be up to the individual municipality and will not be             
mandated by the state.                                                         
Also, again due to declining state revenue, the state has not fully            
funded the "renter's rebate" program during the past several years.            
It is appropriate that this program be repealed at the same time as            
the mandatory property tax exemption provision in order to ensure              
that, for property tax purposes, the state is treating seniors and             
disabled veterans who rent a residence in a manner similar to seniors          
and disabled veterans who own a residence.                                     
I urge your prompt consideration and passage of this bill.                     
      Walter J. Hickel