Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/26/1997 10:17 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE March 26, 1997 10:17 A.M. TAPES SFC-97, # 71, Side 1 (000-246) CALL TO ORDER After a brief recess, Senator Bert Sharp, Cochair, Senate Finance Committee, reconvened the meeting at approximately 10:17 A.M. PRESENT In addition to COCHAIR SHARP, COCHAIR PEARCE, SENATORS PHILLIPS, TORGERSON, and ADAMS were present when the meeting was reconvened. SENATORS DONLEY and PARNELL did not attend the meeting. Also Attending: SENATOR LYDA GREEN; CAROL CARROLL, Division of Support Services, Department of Natural Resources; and aides to committee members. SUMMARY INFORMATION SB 109 AGRICULTURAL LAND SENATOR GREEN explained a proposed CS work draft (version B) before the committee. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED to ADOPT the draft as CSSB 109(FIN). Without objection, it was ADOPTED. Testimony was heard from CAROL CARROLL. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED CSSB 109(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations and the appropriate fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSSB 109(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with forthcoming fiscal notes from the Department of Law and the Department of Natural Resources and fiscal notes for SB 109 from the Department of Law (138.5) and the Department of Natural Resources (25.0/Support Services, 28.5/Agriculture, 131.5/Land). SENATE BILL NO. 109 "An Act relating to land used for agricultural purposes and to state land classified for agricultural purposes or subject to the restriction of use for agricultural purposes only; and annulling certain program regulations of the Department of Natural Resources that are inconsistent with the amendments made by this Act." COCHAIR SHARP summarized the last meeting on SB 109 in which several amendments had been discussed. He noted they had been included in a draft CS which was before the committee. SENATOR LYDA GREEN pointed out she was working from the "B" version work draft dated 3/26/97. She had worked with the department on conceptual changes and compromise language. There were four areas in which the department had requested changes. The first was choosing either a conservation easement or a perpetual covenant and she chose the latter for inclusion in the bill. The second area concerned a limited liability policy for the small window of time when the land reverts back to the state during conveyances being made from agriculture rights to perpetual covenant. The third request was for survey language in Section 2. The language was permissive rather than a requirement, therefore the commissioner had the ability to require cadastral survey or to allow it to be done by aliquot parts. Fourth, was a provision for payment to the state when land was sold outside the family. There has a flat fee of $6,000 for the right to build a residence or the dwelling site right, or the owner of the agriculture rights land could have an appraisal. If it was lower than $6,000, the appraisal would be the applicable figure. That was not to be confused with impacting the total value of the land or a per-acreage increase because the only difference that was assumed was the right to build a house and to subdivide. The agriculture purpose and use of the land remained the same. SENATOR ADAMS asked the difference between perpetual covenants and conservation easements. SENATOR GREEN explained the reason for addressing the issue was to get the state off the document. Currently, with agriculture rights, the state is first in line in case the land reverts for non- payment or non-performance, rather than an independent lender. Therefore, there has been the inability for an agriculture rights owner to get private funding. A conservation easement was nearly identical because the state stays on the title and she didn't want that. In a perpetual covenant the title flows to the landowner with certain restrictions on their ability to subdivide. COCHAIR SHARP asked for a motion to adopt the proposed CS. COCHAIR PEARCE so MOVED. Without objection, CSSB 109(FIN) was ADOPTED. SENATOR GREEN brought up an additional item for the committee's information. The department had no objection to repealing the regulations concerning the agriculture homestead program in the bill. COCHAIR SHARP asked if there were any new or additional areas of concern by the department in the CS from what had been previously discussed. SENATOR GREEN brought up page 7, line 4, noting the department had previously suggested the wording "single residence" and "farm employee housing" but has accepted the current substitute language. COCHAIR SHARP invited the department representative to answer questions or offer comments on the proposed CS. CAROL CARROLL, Division of Support Services, Department of Natural Resources, testified that she received the draft moments earlier, faxed a copy to the Division of Land, but there was not enough time to look at it. She acknowledged they had worked with the sponsor, but that they were "not quite there yet and we'd like to have time to look at this." She suggested it was getting closer, but could not say more without having the professionals really look at the bill. SENATOR GREEN pointed out to Ms. Carroll that the information she had yesterday afternoon was essentially the same, but there was some clarification because the drafter had misunderstood her office "on intent in conveying and had constructed it for one set of rules for property under 640 acres and then applied that land over 640 acres would be charged for the whole thing, and that's not what this was ever intended to address because that's already covered under other statutes." MS. CARROLL reiterated that she had not had a chance to look at the bill but was working closely with Senator Green on it. COCHAIR SHARP brought up page 8, line 11, inquiring if it was a department request or caused any significant "heartburn." SENATOR GREEN responded that they deferred to six years because it referred to a trespass statute versus a real property statute and it was more realistic. MS. CARROLL was uncertain how the department professionals would view the language. COCHAIR SHARP called for additional questions. There being none, he asked the pleasure of the committee. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED CSSB 109(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations and the appropriate fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSSB 109(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with forthcoming fiscal notes from the Department of Law and the Department of Natural Resources and fiscal notes for SB 109 from the Department of Law (138.5) and the Department of Natural Resources (25.0/Support Services, 28.5/Agriculture, 131.5/Land). COCHAIR SHARP announced the next meeting and agenda. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:31 A.M.