Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/11/1994 08:30 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 363 An Act repealing an additional fee for motor vehicle registration not conducted by mail. HB 363 was HELD in Committee for further consideration. HOUSE BILL 363 "An Act repealing an additional fee for motor vehicle registration not conducted by mail." REPRESENTATIVE PETER KOTT provided the Committee with an overview of HB 363. He stated that full and unhindered access to State government is an important element of a free society. An individual who desires to conduct business with the state in a face-to-face meeting rather than through the mail should not be penalized for that decision. The current fee structure for vehicle registration renewal imposes such a penalty. HB 363 would repeal the motor vehicle registration fee for 5 walk-in customers imposed by a legislative act in 1993. He added that the fee has increased the Division of Motor Vehicle's (DMV's) revenue stream but has not increased the efficiency of operations at the DMV offices. This legislation would eliminate the $10 penalty charge for those walking into the office and would replace it with a $5 dollar increase to all vehicle registrations. Co-Chair Larson distributed a proposed committee substitute of that legislation. He explained that Section #2 would reduce vehicle registration by $10 dollars if that amount was mailed to the Department of Public Safety. Section #3 would allow fees to be paid by credit cards over the phone. Sections #3-#5 raises all fees by $10 dollars. Section #9 would allow municipalities and boroughs to impose an additional $3 dollar fee on vehicle registration which would be allocated to municipalities for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Co-Chair Larson distributed a copy of Amendment #1 explaining that the State should not be providing free services for any license fee. DON MOORE, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), MATSU, spoke in support of the proposed legislation. He advised that registration would be the best place to collect the new fees. Representative Martin commented that, currently, DMV takes eight (8) percent of the fees received and that they need fifteen (15) percent to break even. He asked how the municipalities are currently paying for emergency medical services. Mr. Moore replied those fees are paid for through local property tax. JAY DELANY, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, stated that the motor vehicle registration tax is a fixed schedule of taxes which applies only to those municipalities which have adopted it and that it is collected based on a resident's registration address. JANET SMALLY, DOCTOR, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, PALMER, noted that Alaska offers challenges to emergency medical care that are not found in other places. She added that unintentional injury is the leading cause of death of people in Alaska between the ages of 4 - 45. Ms. Smally strongly urged the Committee to accept the proposed legislation and the increased rate for EMS services. MARK JOHNSON, CHIEF, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, stated that DHSS supports the concept of the legislation and would defer to the Department of Public Safety for any administrative 6 issues. He noted that the amount of funds granted to the EMS operations is never enough for the number of people served each year by the EMS system. Currently, the way in which an increased level of service has been provided to state residents has been through local cities and borough support. STEVE O'CONNER, CHAIR, ALASKA COUNCIL OF THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, KENAI, reiterated that the Council receives the benefit of the proposed funding. He urged that should the legislation pass, it not reduce funding from EMS grants. Those funds currently provide the infrastructure to give local communities the ability to assume more of the service burden. JUANITA HENSLEY, CHIEF OF DRIVER SERVICES, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, explained the credit card provision to Representative Therriault. She added that the Division does not feel that a $5 charge would be incentive to keep people from coming into the office. She added that determination would be a legislative call. She concluded that at this time the Department collects motor vehicle taxes for: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Nome, Bethel, Unalaska, Matsu Borough, Kodiak Borough, Nanana, Petersburg, Dillingham, Kenai Peninsula and Whittier. HB 363 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.