Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/09/1994 01:34 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATOR TAYLOR returned HB 73 (ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT STATE TAX EXEMPTIONS) (ANCSA) to committee and asked DAVID HARDING to review the bill. MR. HARDING explained HB 73 was introduced to bring state law into compliance with federal law regarding the exemption from taxation of property conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. He also explained several years ago federal law was changed to continue a property tax exemption from federal, state, or local taxation on ANCSA land until development occurs. MR. HARDING said, in the drafting process, the attorney noted other sections of state law which needed to be updated to conform to the amended federal law. He described the changes as technical or stylistic changes, and he explained the bill does not expand or reduce any benefits or protection already mandated by federal law, but simply cleans up the state law to assure that obsolete state statutes do not lead to misinterpretation by those working with Alaska tax laws. MR. HARDING said HB 73 has a zero fiscal note from the Department of Revenue; it passed the House unanimously, and he reviewed the prior history of the bill. Number 061 SENATOR TAYLOR was reminded of a foreclosure case on taxes being assessed in Fairbanks on some property acquired by the native corporation there. He said the corporation had protested the foreclosure on the property, saying the lands they had acquired had come to them as an investment of proceeds of ANCSA, and were therefore exempt. He wondered if such a case would be resolved by HB 73. MR. HARDING said the first question would be whether it was developed land, and SENATOR TAYLOR said it was developed commercial property in Fairbanks. MR. HARDING said it shouldn't be affected by HB 73, since the legislation only covers undeveloped land, and he referred to the definition in the bill that mirrors the federal definition. MR. HARDING explained it was possible for land to move into development status, become taxable, and later to move back to undeveloped status. He gave several examples of how this would work. SENATOR TAYLOR asked why there was a need for the legislation, and MR. HARDING said there was concern that those who use the Alaska tax laws might be making assumptions about Native land that would not be correct. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there were any on-going cases that would be impacted by this legislation, and MR. HARDING said REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN has not heard of any cases during the three years he has worked on the legislation. Number 108 SENATOR JACKO referred to page 3, lines 24 and 5 to ask about the definition of Native, and MR. HARDING said it was the federal language in the United States Code. SENATOR JACKO asked whether he had the definition as specified in the statutes in the legislation. SENATOR TAYLOR thought those two provisions had to do with the transfer of shares upon death, and if the recipient was of a certain blood, then they would receive the share as well as the right to vote the share. He described another scenario in which the person inheriting the share would not have the right to vote the share. SENATOR JACKO thought SENATOR TAYLOR was correct, but he wanted the exact definition of the statute. MR. HARDING could not find the definitions in the United States Code. SENATOR JACKO said he would get the answer later. Number 154 SENATOR DONLEY questioned the technical changes, and MR. HARDING said the bill was only technical changes to conform to the federal l law and state law. SENATOR JACKO moved to pass HOUSE BILL NO. 73 (ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT STATE TAX EXEMPTIONS) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered.