Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/21/1995 01:05 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HCRA - 03/21/95                                                               
 HB 185 - MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS                                   
 CO-CHAIR IVAN invited Tom Wright to discuss HB 185 and entertained           
 a motion to adopt the committee substitute for HB 185.                       
 Number 500                                                                    
 TOM WRIGHT, legislative aide to Representative Ivan, stated that              
 the committee substitute incorporates two changes that were adopted           
 at the last committee hearing.  He referred to page 1, line 14,               
 where the words 'after 1) up to $150,000', meaning that as far as             
 the local funding for schools, that the local school districts                
 would not be penalized and would keep the status quo.  The second             
 change was on page 3, line 1, concerning the amendment that was               
 adopted.  The wording "approved by the voters" was deleted, so a              
 municipality may by ordinance exempt from taxation the assessed               
 value of real property without going before the voters.  This can             
 be achieved by ordinance.  In conversation with Steve Van Sant, the           
 state assessor, Mr. Wright said the property exempted in Section 1            
 is up to $150,000.  This amount isn't added on to the original                
 $75,000.  Property is exempted only up to $150,000.                           
 Number 520                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked if the committee members had any questions.               
 Number 522                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if it was the intent of the co-chair to            
 move the bill out of the committee during this meeting.                       
 Number 523                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN replied that this was his intent.  He said that the             
 committee had spent a lot of time going over the bill and revising            
 it and he stated that it was time to move the bill on the next                
 committee.  He asked what the wish of the committee was concerning            
 HB 185.                                                                       
 Number 529                                                                    
 TOM WRIGHT asked the chairman if he was aware of anyone wishing to            
 testify on HB 185.                                                            
 Number 531                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT noted that this bill had been heard a number of           
 times and looked at from many angles and new language to the bill             
 had been added.  He said he was comfortable with the bill in it's             
 current state as it was the work of a lot of compromise.  He moved            
 and asked unanimous consent to pass HB 185 out of the committee,              
 with individual recommendations.                                              
 Number 540                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected.                                                
 Number 542                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON briefly stated that he appreciated the work              
 gone in to revising and amending HB 185.  He said there had been a            
 movement by all parties, but he had a philosophical objection to              
 the process and direction of HB 185.  His first objection was that            
 this bill was just piece-mealing an approach referring to one small           
 portion of people being exempted from property taxes.  He also                
 stated that the bill is not addressing a lot of the other people              
 that are paying property taxes.  He said that this legislature,               
 acting as an assembly for the unorganized borough, has been kind of           
 weak.  The state has many Alaskans that are exempted from property            
 taxes but CRA isn't addressing those people.  His second objection            
 concerned exempted senior citizens that are different from many               
 other Alaskans.  These people have paid income taxes and with the             
 revenue crunch affecting the state, the legislature is turning to             
 those that have paid their share and leaving alone those that                 
 haven't ever paid income taxes.  He is of the opinion that this               
 bill is sending the wrong message to some of the more responsible             
 Alaskans across the state.  He stated he would belabor the bill               
 should it make it to the floor.                                               
 Number 573                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN commented that the committee process system is open             
 as bills move through the various committees with lots of                     
 opportunities to make changes.  He stated that it was not his                 
 intent to target the senior citizens but the bill is trying to                
 reduce some of the mandates that communities have.  He said                   
 municipalities can deal with this more because they are more                  
 closely aware of their constituent concerns.                                  
 Number 586                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON agreed with Co-Chair Ivan and again expressed            
 his appreciation over the willingness of the chair and the                    
 committee to work with the different groups to make this bill as              
 good as possible.                                                             
 Number 592                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if Representative Elton was in favor or            
 opposed to HB 185 to which Representative Elton responded that he             
 was opposed.                                                                  
 Number 595                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked the committee secretary to call the vote in               
 regards to passing HB 185 out of the committee.                               
 Representatives Ivan, Austerman, Vezey and Kott were in favor of              
 passing HB 185 out of committee.  Representative Elton was opposed.           
 The bill passed out with a vote of four to one.                               

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