Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/11/1994 08:30 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  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                 
                                                                               
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  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                 
                                                                               
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  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.                      

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