Legislature(1997 - 1998)

1997-04-22 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1997-04-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 1415
SB 184                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 184 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          
An Act relating to access by the Department                                   
of Environmental Conservation and the                                          
Department of Fish and Game to confidential                                    
tax records for fisheries resources prepared or                                
kept by the Department of Revenue under AS                                     
was read the first time and referred to the Resources Committee.               
Zero fiscal notes published today from Department of Revenue,                  
Department of Fish and Game.                                                   

1997-04-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 1416
SB 184                                                                       
Governors transmittal letter dated April 18:                                   
Dear President Miller:                                                         
As part of my Marketing Alaska initiative, the seafood industry                
pointed out that current state confidentiality laws surrounding                
fisheries tax records are actually a burden because they prohibit the          
sharing of information between state agencies which need the same              
records.  Rather than reporting these numbers once, the industry must          
report two or three times on different forms.  This bill addresses this        
wasteful effort by allowing appropriate state agencies to share tax            
reporting information while ensuring confidentiality is not breached.          
Seafood processors, certain fishermen and others currently must                
report to the Department of Revenue the value of the fisheries                 
resources processed, taken, purchased, or otherwise acquired during            
the license year.  This information is confidential.  The Department           
of Fish and Game independently collects product value figures as               
part of its reporting requirements for seafood processors.  In addition,       
seafood processors have asked the Department of Environmental                  
Conservation to base its sliding scale of permit fees on product               
value.  The current confidentiality requirement  prevents exchanges            
of this information between the Department of Revenue and the other            
two departments.  The result is inconsistent data, inefficient                 
operations, and complicated and duplicative reporting requirements             
for industry.                                                                  
The Marketing Alaska Seafood Sector Group recommended agency                   
databases be consolidated in order to streamline reporting                     
requirements.  This would allow access by the Department of                    
Environmental Conservation and the Department of Fish and Game                 
to a common Department of Revenue database.  Any personnel                     
granted access to this tax information would be subject to the same            
confidentiality requirements as the Department of Revenue.  At the             
same time, the bill promotes a reciprocal exchange of information              
with the Department of Fish and Game, whose confidential                       
information is already accessible by the Department of Revenue.                

1997-04-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 1417
SB 184                                                                       
This bill represents a logical solution to a current burden for the            
seafood industry.  I urge your prompt and favorable action on this             
						Tony Knowles