Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/09/1993 01:00 PM House CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 9, 1993 1:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Harley Olberg, Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative John Davies Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative Ed Willis Representative Bill Williams MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Jerry Sanders, Vice-Chairman OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jerry Mackie COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 143: "An Act relating to the distribution of the revenue obtained from imposition of the state tax on motor fuel used in watercraft of all descriptions; and providing for an effective date." MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION AS CSSSHB 143 *HB 166: "An Act relating to enhanced 911 emergency reporting systems; and providing for an effective date." CSHB 166 PLACED IN SUBCOMMITTEE OF REPRESENTATIVES DAVIES AND BUNDE (* first public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER Representative Con Bunde State Capitol, Room 112 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182 Phone: 465-4843 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor, HB 166; Introduced CSHB 166 Robby Benson, City Clerk/Treasurer Delta Junction P.O. Box 1173 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-4656 POSITION STATEMENT: Asked questions related to HB 166 Kevin O'Leary, Chief of Police Anchorage Police Department 4501 Bragaw Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone: 786-8500 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 166 Bonnie Golden, Administrative Assistant to Mayor Gilman Kenai Peninsula Borough 144 N. Binkley Soldotna, AK 99669 Phone: 262-5515 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSHB 166 Mark S. Johnson, Chief Emergency Medical Services Section Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110616 Juneau, AK 99811-0616 Phone: 465-3027 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 166 Representative Jerry Mackie Court Building, Room 602 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182 Phone: 465-4925 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave suggestions regarding HB 166; Prime Sponsor, HB 143 Jud Fager, Assemblyman and Deputy Mayor City of Sitka 206 1/2 Lakeview Drive Sitka, AK 99835 Phone: 747-3917 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 143 Larry Meyers, Director Income and Excise Audit Division Department of Revenue P.O. Box 110420 Juneau, AK 99811 Phone: 465-2320 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified neutrally on HB 143 Dan Keck, Mayor City of Sitka 203 Harbor Drive Sitka, AK 99835 Phone: 747-8020 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 143 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 143 SHORT TITLE: MARINE FUEL TAX REVENUE SHARING BILL VERSION: SSHB 143 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACKIE,Grussendorf TITLE: "An Act relating to the distribution of the revenue obtained from imposition of the state tax on motor fuel used in watercraft of all descriptions; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/10/93 292 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/10/93 292 (H) CRA, TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE 02/22/93 410 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED- REFERRALS 02/22/93 410 (H) CRA, TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE 03/02/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/02/93 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/09/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 166 SHORT TITLE: ENHANCED 911 SYSTEMS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE TITLE: "An Act relating to enhanced 911 emergency reporting systems; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/18/93 381 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/18/93 381 (H) CRA, FINANCE 03/09/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-11, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN HARLEY OLBERG called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m., and noted Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Davies and Willis were present. HB 166: ENHANCED 911 SYSTEMS Number 020 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 166, testified, "In my district, the municipality of Anchorage was introducing this enhanced 911 service which basically is the emergency number with whistles and bells attached so that it allows a quicker response of the appropriate emergency service, whichever you might require. ...The problem was that this wasn't going to be available to all areas of the municipality, my district particularly, and even more startling to me is that the 911 number, as far as police emergency, would be withdrawn." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE continued, "Really all it (HB 166) does is requires a municipality provide this enhanced 911 service to all people within its boundaries and allows the municipality to collect a fee for this service because the enhancement does cost more than the other. The existing 911 service is quite an expensive service... In my district alone, for one year, it was nearly $50,000. So it is currently not free. The new system would allow the subscriber to pay for this service... Fifty cents a month in some municipalities, and the smaller ones, 75 cents a month." Number 104 ROBBY BENSON, CITY CLERK/TREASURER, DELTA JUNCTION, via teleconference asked if the fees could be used for dispatcher wages and if the surcharge would be listed separately on telephone bills. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "It is not my intent that it would be used for dispatcher wages... It is my belief it would be shown as a separate surcharge on the bill, but I'd have to defer that to someone who knows municipalities and utilities better than I..." MS. BENSON asked, "Delta (Junction) presently is installing the 911 enhanced system, so will this surcharge be available to us as well?" Number 139 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "The surcharge will be available wherever the enhanced 911 is installed, yes." Regarding dispatcher wages, he added, "That was not the way I read the bill (HB 166), however, I've been informed that others might look at that differently." MS. BENSON asked if ambulance runs were "private records" and "who is privy to those 911 calls". REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "They're certainly not available to the general public, but for the people that it's part of their duty or function, and the way I read medical records, that doesn't include the ambulance runs, no." Number 186 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY MOVED that the committee adopt the working draft as a committee substitute (CS) for HB 166. Without objections, CSHB 166 was ADOPTED. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE addressed the CS, "The original HB 166 was under Title 42, which is Public Utilities, instead of Title 29, Municipal Government, and certainly not a function of APUC (Alaska Public Utilities Commission) to participate in the collection of fees for 911. The CS for HB 166 is to place the legislation in the statutes where it more rightly belongs." Number 198 KEVIN O'LEARY, CHIEF OF POLICE, ANCHORAGE, testified via teleconference in support of HB 166 saying, "I think it's a welcome addition to the state of Alaska and will allow communities to establish enhanced 911 system that they are able to pay for." Number 212 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked, "In the Anchorage municipality, have you tried to establish enhanced 911 systems and can't do it for one statutory reason or another?" MR. O'LEARY said, "We have an enhanced system now that is somewhat old and is in need of being replaced." He also indicated that HB 166 provides for "collection of necessary revenues to support the acquisition of the equipment" and "secondarily, the portion of the legislation that refers to 'community' is also something that we cannot provide for ourselves on a local level, it has to be enacted on a state level." Number 230 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the amount of surcharge (50 cents) "would be adequate for Anchorage." MR. O'LEARY said, "No, it will not be adequate, that surcharge will approximately raise 300,000 dollars in revenue. The current cost for operations of our dispatch center is a little over four million dollars of which 1.9 million dollars is applied strictly to 911 operations." Number 244 BONNIE GOLDEN, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO MAYOR GILMAN, KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH, read the Mayor's position paper submitted to the committee members which supports CSHB 166. (A copy of this position paper may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol Room 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked, "Specifically, what does this bill (HB 166) allow you to do that they can't do know, how does this help them?" MS. GOLDEN replied, "The way that I understand it, it allows us to charge for the 911 services..." Number 298 MARK JOHNSON, CHIEF, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, testified, "We support the bill (HB 166). ...My only comment is, as far as emergency medical services, AS 29.35.020 allows for extraterritorial jurisdiction for certain services, including emergency medical services, and in the event that a municipality may choose, and I believe they do this by ordinance to provide service in a surrounding area, I would suggest the wording be flexible enough to allow that for the enhanced 911 service area." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked, "Do you envision that there would be parts of the borough where you would serve from one borough to the next?" MR. JOHNSON said, "I'm not sure how many municipalities would want to include this in their enhanced 911 system, but I do believe they ought to have that option. The Delta Junction ambulance, for example, picks up patients up and down the highway, and whether or not they and their local telephone exchange would want to accommodate enhanced 911 further out would be up to them..." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I was just trying to think if there would be a municipality on a boundary where they might want to extend their service into another borough..." Number 342 CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "In Delta Junction, for example, the City of Delta Junction operates the service but it covers a wide area within the unorganized borough, in fact." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE confirmed, "It would still then be available to all people in that borough or unorganized borough." CHAIRMAN OLBERG added, "The unorganized borough is a borough." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "I would support this suggestion, I think the same situation is true for... Fairbanks. ...I think there are situations here where this might preclude that so I would support some kind of friendly amendment." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "I'm not opposed to that idea." Number 375 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "... I don't have any hesitation of spreading it out where a city, municipality or borough could then provide service as was suggested, as otherwise under [AS] 29.35.020..." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested possible amendments be produced. Number 389 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked, "Where it says 'the area may be all of a city', does that mean that the area may not be part of a city? Is that the intent of this language?" REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "That is very much the intent of this statute because my particular district was being left out and access to 911 should be expanded and not curtailed." Number 400 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE offered, "Instead of an amendment... normally, you would explain to Legislative Legal what you're trying to accomplish and they'll come up with the language. I think it would be important to make sure that it was done by legal..." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked Representative Bunde how he wanted to pursue the amendments. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I guess I would like to possibly move this bill (HB 166) along with your intent to modify that particular phrase to (include) 'or otherwise provided for in AS 29.35.020'." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested a "conceptual amendment" that accompanies the bill (HB 166) so the bill "can begin its journey to its next committee of referral and save a little time that way." Number 425 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES suggested some consideration be given to cellular phone "possibilities." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked for specific suggestions regarding cellular phones for CSHB 166. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES volunteered to work "on a very small subcommittee to solve this problem." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "I love volunteers," and added, "We'll hear it again Thursday..." Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES reiterated, "Why is it necessary to do this? Why can't the municipalities do this on their own as it is? And the second one: Why are we limiting the population of the municipality of Anchorage to raise revenues to only 50 cents when everybody else gets the opportunity for the 75 (cents)." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I worked with people in the municipality and they felt this was a fair way to approach it. There is a responsibility, and I may be putting words in their mouths, this is my perception, of municipalities providing services and there's also then an opportunity for people to pay in some measure for their services. As you might imagine you have lots of fires, your share of the fire department budget doesn't go up even though you're a greater demand of the service than someone who has no fires. And to your first question, municipalities did not feel they were able to institute this service, particularly from boundary to boundary, without this additional legislation." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested the details be sorted out in a subcommittee comprised of Representatives Bunde and Davies. Number 490 Chairman Olberg called an at ease at 1:32 p.m. HB 143: MARINE FUEL TAX REVENUE SHARING Chairman Olberg reconvened the meeting at 1:36 p.m. with Representative Williams joining the committee, and SSHB 143 was brought forth. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY MOVED that the committee substitute for the sponsor substitute for HB 143 (CRA) (CSSSHB 143 (CRA)) be adopted. Without objections, IT WAS SO ORDERED. Number 521 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 143, testified addressing a proposed amendment to CSSSHB 143, "It was suggested by Representative Davies in the last meeting that ...the committee wanted to have language in there that the money collected had to be used for harbor facilities, so if I can direct your attention to the amendment which is offered by [Jack] Chenoweth [Legislative Legal Counsel]..." He then described the amendment. (A copy of this amendment may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES MOVED that the AMENDMENT be ADOPTED by the committee. Without objections, IT WAS SO ORDERED. Number 540 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE referred to a letter from the City of Craig which specified the losses they incur. He said, "They expect for FY 93 to generate 61,000 dollars in revenues, they are anticipating the expenditures for (FY) 1993 to be 82,000 (dollars) therefore being 20,000 dollars short... The expenditures are expected to be about 37,000 dollars more to the city in the next year. Based on last year's (1992) taxes that were collected there, the City would expect to receive about 20,000 dollars from that tax money so there would still be a void..." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE continued, "Depending on each municipality or each location with harbor facilities, they would need to determine themselves whether or not it was in their best interest to assume control of any of these harbors. This would only serve as an incentive for some of them to do it." Number 572 JUD FAGER, ASSEMBLYMAN AND DEPUTY MAYOR, CITY AND BOROUGH OF SITKA, testified via teleconference in support of HB 143 saying, "Marine fuel tax...was originated by the state to help finance harbors and infrastructure, but the state's position of a relinquishing maintenance and infrastructure for harbors... With the state's declining revenues and desire to cut government spending... Who better to run the harbors than the local communities?" Number 593 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Larry Meyers, Director of the Income and Excise Audit Division, Department of Revenue, "Do you see that this would erode any of the money available?" LARRY MEYERS, DIRECTOR, INCOME AND EXCISE AUDIT DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, replied, "This will not erode. There is a basic concern that we have as far as the administration and collection. ...Currently we only track at the wholesale level and the bill (HB 143) as presented would attempt to trace the sale of fuel back to the individual locality, and as the forms are now set up and the way we track, we're not capable of doing this." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked at what point was the fuel tax being charged. MR. MEYERS said, "At the wholesaler level. The first time that it's purchased or transferred coming in within the state." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked, "A fuel dealer in Craig does not collect any fuel taxes?" REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked, "Do you support this bill (HB 143)?" MR. MEYERS said, "Right now we're in a neutral position." REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said, "From what you say, you're losing thousands of dollars by not being able to track the fuel, is that correct?" MR. MEYERS said, "My concern here is trying to make sure we would allocate the amount that was used in that particular area. I'm saying we're not capable of tracking it..." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "It seems it would be relatively simple, to determine how many gallons of fuel were sold in Craig, Alaska, for example." Number 654 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said, "I was unaware that that's how it operates... I cannot believe that it would be very hard for Fuel Company X to fill out a form that says I collected 100,000 dollars in fuel tax this year within the City of Craig. ...If we're not asking them to do that, if we're not collecting the money as it's being sold...then obviously, we are losing out on a considerable amount of money." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "I wonder if, in fact, the tax you're paying when you buy fuel kind of travels up the line to some point where the [Department of] Revenue is keeping track of the fuel at one end of the system or the other." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE interjected, "Perhaps they don't jive, either." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "It makes little difference where the tax is actually paid... All you really need to know is how much is that tax and how many gallons were pumped at that particular locale." Number 680 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said, "If this was straightened out somehow, this bill (HB 143) might be a considerable revenue enhancer to the state." He added, "Why wouldn't the Department of Revenue ask each fuel company that does business in the state to submit to them a report as to how many actual gallons of marine fuel they sold and how many tax dollars they collected on that fuel. If they're required to charge the tax, they certainly ought to be required to report that to you, community by community or fuel company by fuel company..." MR. MEYERS replied, "The tax is charged at the wholesale level at that one time, that is the reporting requirements. Then it can be moved down the line to dealer by dealer. It is passed with the tax on. ...So you, as the ultimate consumer, you have that additional tax you're paying for, but it's just pulling back up the line...we are not concerned who the ultimate consumer is." TAPE 93-11, SIDE B Number 000 CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "All we need to know is how many gallons of fuel were sold in that city that year to do the arithmetic." MR. MEYERS said, "That would be a start, yes. ...We're not set up to track that..." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE asked, "Why wouldn't the Department [of Revenue] be able to change how they do it a little bit and just require any fuel retailer to submit their report... It seems that would be a more accurate, more efficient way to handle the accounting practices." Number 049 MR. MEYERS replied, "In collecting taxes, it has been our experience that if you try to get at the first source when it comes into the state rather than when it filters down, it makes our reporting requirements, ability to monitor, a lot easier if we collect it the first time it comes in the state. As it is right now, motor fuel distributors are required to file on a monthly basis. If we were to go down another level, we would probably increase our paperwork three, four, five-fold times. Each time we rely on someone further on down the stream to report, we have less and less chance of catching them or making sure that there's compliance." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE pointed out there were a limited number of municipal-owned docks in Alaska and "it's in the municipality's interest" to do any additional accounting. CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "That's a good point...put the burden of providing the necessary information on the municipality that's going to actually receive the benefit. ...I suspect there's even a tax structure already in place through sales taxes..." He also pointed out the Department of Revenue's fiscal note. (A copy of this fiscal note may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol Room 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) Number 117 MR. MEYERS responded to the $40,000 contractual amount on the fiscal note, "It was our intentions in the first year, on page 3 of the fiscal note, would be for a survey to determine how many linear feet of the wharfage. Someone would have to go out there and physically measure this..." REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS said, "You'd think you have that information now." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "In every case we're talking about a facility that used to be a state facility and is now a city facility. You would think that those figures are on file somewhere from when the dock was built... I think we just saved you 40,000 bucks here." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE pointed out that on the Department of Transportation's (DOT) list of harbors provided to the committee members, this information had been furnished. (A copy of this fiscal note may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol Room 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) "DOT owns these facilities now, they know how many linear feet of dock they have on all these things," he said. Number 165 CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "Perhaps the fiscal note is erring on the side of not wanting to be too small, possibly, because some of the information may in fact be on file. The cities could certainly bear the burden of collecting the tax information..." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said, "These communities that are presently affected by it certainly should make sure that the Department of Revenue has the information about how many feet. Perhaps the Department of Revenue wasn't aware that this information was available." REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked if another amendment was needed. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said, "Because this is state statute, we have to hold one of our agencies responsible, which is the Department of Revenue. However, Revenue can have a regulation. You don't legislate regulations. They can have a regulation that specifies that the municipality shall provide the Department of Revenue with the footage in their community and the information before Revenue cuts them a check... I think it would be somewhat unusual to mandate that responsibility to a municipality when we're talking about state general funds..." Number 245 DAN KECK, MAYOR, SITKA, via teleconference testified, "It's interesting to listen to your concerns of how this would be collected in Sitka. I can't see that this is a problem. We collect sales tax on all fuel that is sold now. So we can go back and check... So if we have this in our duties, we can easily collect the fuel tax." MR. FAGER added, via teleconference, "There's no way to do this on a wholesale level... All the tax would have to be collected at the retail level because that's the only way we would get accurate records. There are several ways, you could repeal the law as it is and we make it a local tax, if you can't figure out how to do it." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE compared the forced receipts' legislation of several years ago which was "done by regulation" and was working well. Number 291 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a MOTION to MOVE CSSSHB 143, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, IT WAS SO ORDERED. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN OLBERG adjourned the meeting at 2:10 p.m.