Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/14/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 211 DENTISTS; HYGIENISTS; BD OF DENTAL EXAM. TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 211(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 103 CLAIMS AGAINST THE STATE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 103(FIN) Out of Committee
HB 215 PERM FUND CORP. INVESTMENTS/REGULATIONS
Moved CSHB 215(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 33 EFFECT OF REGULATIONS ON SMALL BUSINESSES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= HB 169 REAL ESTATE LICENSEE EDUC
Moved CSHB 169(FIN) Out of Committee
= HB 71 AK PENINSULA OIL & GAS LEASE SALE; TAXES
Bill Postponed To 4/15
= HB 27 MUNI PROP TAX EXEMPTION FOR POLICE HOMES
Moved CSHB 27(FIN) Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 27                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to an optional  exemption from municipal                                                                   
     property taxes on certain  residences of law enforcement                                                                   
     officers.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MAX GRUENBERG,  SPONSOR,  explained that  the                                                                   
purpose  of  the  bill  was  to   encourage  law  enforcement                                                                   
officers  to  purchase  homes   and  live  in  areas  needing                                                                   
additional police protection.   It would allow municipalities                                                                   
to pass  an ordinance giving an  exemption of up  to $150,000                                                                   
of assessed valuation  on the primary permanent  residence of                                                                   
any law enforcement officer who lives in a high crime area.                                                                     
The bill permits  a municipality, by ordinance,  to designate                                                                   
areas  in which  the primary  permanent  residence owned  and                                                                   
occupied by a law enforcement  officer would be exempted from                                                                   
taxation  up  to  $150,000  of  the  assessed  valuation  per                                                                   
officer/owner-occupant (up to  a maximum of $300,000 assessed                                                                   
valuation per property.)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg pointed  out that the ordinance must                                                                   
define  "law  enforcement  officer"  and  designate  specific                                                                   
areas, as either:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   · (1) Areas eligible under  governmental programs allowing                                                                   
     special assistance for urban development, neighborhood                                                                     
     revitalization, or law enforcement, or                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   · (2) Statistically high crime areas.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
 Representative  Gruenberg  advised that  there  would be  no                                                                   
cost to the State for the program.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JIM GASPER,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  POLICE OFFICER,                                                                   
PUBLIC SAFETY  EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE, noted  that                                                                   
he represents  over 200 municipal police  officers throughout                                                                   
the State.  He  thought that the bill was drafted  to provide                                                                   
discretion to the municipalities  that want to participate in                                                                   
the  program.    He  stated  that it  is  a  good  method  of                                                                   
advancing  the concept of  community policing.   It  could be                                                                   
extended to State  police for policing high crime  areas.  He                                                                   
thought  it would  be good policy  for the  State and  voiced                                                                   
support for the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:44:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  VAN   SANT,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   STATE                                                                   
ASSESSOR,  DEPARTMENT  OF COMMERCE,  COMMUNITY  AND  ECONOMIC                                                                   
DEVELOPMENT,     ANCHORAGE,     voiced    appreciation     to                                                                   
Representative Gruenberg  for addressing the concerns  of the                                                                   
State Assessor's office.  He voiced support for the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gruenberg  clarified the conceptual  Amendment                                                                   
#1, Subsection (s) on Page 1, Line 8 amended to read:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
   "(s) A  municipality may  be ordinance  designate an  area                                                                   
   within its boundaries that is an eligible  area and exempt                                                                   
   from taxation  an amount  not  to exceed  $150,000 of  the                                                                   
   assessed value of real property within  the area [that is]                                                                   
   if the  property is  primarily residential  and owned  and                                                                 
   occupied as the primary permanent place  of abode by a law                                                                   
   enforcement officer for the entire parcel."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
In response to a query by Vice-Chair  Stoltze, Representative                                                                   
Gruenberg explained that if the  parcel were a zero lot line,                                                                   
then it  would be  able to occur.   However,  if there  was a                                                                   
triplex or duplex  on the land and it was titled  as a single                                                                   
parcel, it could  be divided.  The most that  can be received                                                                   
is $150,000 dollars.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  asked  why  would the  State  want  to                                                                   
encourage  two  police  in the  same  area.    Representative                                                                   
Gruenberg responded,  they could be  a social unit such  as a                                                                   
family or two people that were co-tenants.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly thought  there could  be potential  for                                                                   
abuse.   Representative  Gruenberg replied  that at  least in                                                                   
the Mountain  View  area, it would  be unlikely  to find  any                                                                   
properties of that value.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft MOVED to  ADOPT conceptual Amendment #1.                                                                   
Co-Chair Chenault OBJECTED.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
After  looking  at  the printed  version  of  the  conceptual                                                                   
amendment, Co-Chair  Chenault WITHDREW his OBJECTION.   There                                                                   
being  NO  further OBJECTION,  conceptual  Amendment  #1  was                                                                   
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:53:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Stoltze   asked  about   constitutional   issues                                                                   
regarding  the  police  department  and  where  they  reside.                                                                   
Representative  Gruenberg  was  not aware  of  anything  that                                                                   
could prohibit  it in  the future.   Co-Chair Chenault  noted                                                                   
that  in his  area, it  is required  that  the troopers  live                                                                   
within  the city  limits.   He thought  that the  legislation                                                                   
would help police officers out.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:55:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly suggested  adding language:   "No  more                                                                   
than  one  exemption  for  the  same  property  be  granted".                                                                   
Representative Gruenberg suggested  that if that language was                                                                   
adopted, it  would be important  to strike the  sentence from                                                                   
Lines 8-10.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly MOVED to  ADOPT Conceptual Amendment #2.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:58:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  OBJECTED for discussion  purposes.  He                                                                   
thought that  the amendment  could put  the primary  focus on                                                                   
the residential  location.   He questioned  if the  exemption                                                                   
should  track  the property  or  the  people working  as  law                                                                   
enforcement  officers.  He  mentioned that  he wanted  to see                                                                   
every  law  enforcement  officer   have  the  option  of  the                                                                   
proposal.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft suggested  deleting language on Lines 8-                                                                   
10.   Co-Chair Chenault agreed,  however, noted that  on Line                                                                   
6, the taxation  may not exceed $150,000 assessed  value.  He                                                                   
supported one exemption.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:57:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze recommended  inserting the language: "Only                                                                   
one exemption".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:00:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION to  Amendment                                                                   
#2.     Representative  Gruenberg   supported  the   verbiage                                                                   
proposed by Vice Chair Stoltze.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  OBJECTED to conceptual Amendment  #2 as he                                                                   
foresaw more problems  related to marital status  and spousal                                                                   
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft thought that  removal of that  sentence                                                                   
could allow the  municipalities to decide.  He  did not think                                                                   
it would do much harm.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer thought  that  if it  was  modeled after  the                                                                   
senior exemption,  it should  be consistent.   Representative                                                                   
Gruenberg  replied  that it  was  modeled after  a  different                                                                   
statute, AS  29.45.050, regarding the granting  of exemptions                                                                   
for same property.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly WITHDREW conceptual Amendment #2.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:04:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gruenberg  requested  that the  bill  drafter                                                                   
insert the language from conceptual  Amendment #1 where it is                                                                   
most appropriate.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:05:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT CS HB 27  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB   27  (FIN)  was   reported  out  of   Committee  with                                                                   
"individual  recommendations" and  with zero  note #1  by the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development.                                                                       

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