Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/04/1998 03:40 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                SJR 40 - FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE                              
CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to              
order at 3:40 p.m. and announced SJR 40 to be up for consideration.            
SENATOR LEMAN, sponsor of SJR 40, said this resolution addresses               
President Clinton's proposed FY  99 budget in which he proposes a              
$20 million tax on fisheries to fund management enforcement                    
services of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)             
and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  He is proposing             
up to one percent of the ex-vessel price of the fish landed.                   
According to figures from Senator Murkowski's office, the total                
fees to be paid by Alaska fishermen would be between $10 and $12               
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked him to make sure the fisheries tax figure               
already paid is correct.                                                       
SENATOR LINCOLN noted that the proposed amendment was written                  
wrong, because it's redundant.                                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt the amendment as corrected.  There               
were no objections and it was so ordered.                                      
Number 117                                                                     
MR. JERRY MCCUNE, United Fishermen of Alaska, supported SJR 40                 
because fishermen already pay enough taxes.  The Clinton proposal              
would result in Alaskan fishermen paying as much as half the tax.              
A lot of fishermen don't even fish in federal waters.                          
MR. DEAN PADDOCK, representing himself, supported SJR 40, because              
he opposes another federal tax.  Alaska fishermen are already                  
paying their way.  The perception some people have that on-shore               
fishermen in some way benefit from federal management inside of the            
three miles is highly debatable.  He thought just the opposite was             
true, that the State benefits the federal programs.  Furthermore,              
on-shore fishermen are on the ropes and most aren't able to stand              
another one percent tax.  He informed the Committee that one of the            
major recurring problems the North Pacific Fisheries Management                
Council deals with is how to keep required federal bureaucratic                
costs within the capabilities of the fleets to pay.  Fishermen have            
already agreed to heavy observer costs and heavy assessments, in               
addition to taxes. He said there are certain vessel lengths that               
are being driven out of business because of mandates to retain all             
by-catch and process them.                                                     
Number 211                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSJR 40(RES) from Committee with                 
individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so            

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