Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/01/1993 03:55 PM Senate TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                 SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE                               
                          April 1, 1993                                        
                            3:55 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Bert Sharp, Chairman                                                 
  Senator Randy Phillips, Vice Chairman                                        
  Senator Tim Kelly                                                            
  Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                   
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Senator Jay Kerttula                                                         
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 148                                                          
  "An Act  relating to  the Alaska  Railroad Corporation;  and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  SENATE BILL NO. 167                                                          
  "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."                                                             
  NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                                         
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 148 - See Transportation minutes dated 3/11/93, 3/23/93                   
  SB 167 - No previous action to record.                                       
  SB 157 - See Transportation minutes dated 3/23/93 & 3/30/93.                 
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Paul Anderson, City Councilman                                               
  City of Petersburg                                                           
  Box 1454                                                                     
  Petersburg, AK 99833                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 167                                     
  Jim Stromdahl, Harbor Master                                                 
  City of Petersburg                                                           
  Box 1047                                                                     
  Petersburg, AK 99833                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 167                                     
  Doug Ensley, Director of Ports & Harbors                                     
  City of Ketchikan                                                            
  334 Front St.                                                                
  Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Suggested amending SB 167                               
  Jud Fager, City Assembly                                                     
  City & Brough of Sitka                                                       
  206 1/2 Lakebiew Drive                                                       
  Sitka, AK 99835                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 167                                     
  Brian Bergman, Harbor Master                                                 
  City & Borough of Sitka                                                      
  212 Lakeview Drive                                                           
  Sitka, AK 99835                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Suggested amending SB 167                               
  Ron Lind, Director                                                           
  Plan, Programs & Budget                                                      
  Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                             
  3132 Channel Drive                                                           
  Juneau, AK 99801-7898                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on SB 167                           
  Larry Meyers, Director                                                       
  Income & Excise Audit Division                                               
  Department of Revenue                                                        
  P.O. Box 110420                                                              
  Juneau, AK 99811-0420                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Ofered information on SB 167                            
  Tom Briggs, City Administrator                                               
  City of Craig                                                                
  P.O. Box 725                                                                 
  Craig, AK 99921                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 167                                     
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-19, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN SHARP called the Senate Transportation Committee to                 
  order  at  3:55 p.m.  and  brought SB  148  (ALASKA RAILROAD                 
  CORPORATION)  before  the  committee,  noting  there  was  a                 
  proposed   committee   substitute   for    the   committee's                 
  Number 015                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY moved that CSSB 148(TRA) be adopted.   Hearing                 
  no objection, the motion carried.                                            
  Number 028                                                                   
  SENATOR  KELLY  moved  that  a  memorandum from  the  Senate                 
  Transportation  Committee  be  sent to  the  Senate  Finance                 
  Committee  requesting that the committee closely examine the                 
  tax issue raised in the legislation.   Hearing no objection,                 
  the motion carried.                                                          
  Number 040                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY  moved  that CSSB  148(TRA) be  passed out  of                 
  committee  with  individual  recommendations.    Hearing  no                 
  objection, it was so ordered.                                                
  Number 050                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN  SHARP  brought  SB 167  (MARINE  FUEL  TAX REVENUE                 
  SHARING) before the  committee as the next order of business                 
  and noted  that  the  Anchorage,  Craig,  Sitka,  Ketchikan,                 
  Wrangell   and   Petersburg   teleconference    sites   were                 
  participating in this portion of the meeting.                                
  Number 055                                                                   
  SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS requested that he be excused from the                 
  remainder of the meeting in order to attend budget closeouts                 
  in the Senate  Finance Committee.  The Chair excused Senator                 
  Number 085                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN  SHARP  opened the  public  hearing  on SB  167  to                 
  testimony over the teleconference network.                                   
  PAUL ANDERSON, City Councilman, City of Petersburg, referred                 
  to page  2, line  5,  and stated  he  objected to  the  word                 
  "owned."  He said  there have been two  surveys in the  last                 
  two years of all harbors in the state, one by DOT and one by                 
  the Army Corps of Engineers.  The purpose of the surveys was                 
  to find  harbor deficiencies, and  when they are  found, the                 
  state puts them on a deferred maintenance basis.                             
  During this  last fiscal year  there has  been zero  dollars                 
  budgeted in  state harbors.   Municipalities  are trying  to                 
  take  over  these harbors  for  the state,  but  they cannot                 
  afford to take them over until they are brought up to  code,                 
  and  they could use  some of  the operation  and maintenance                 
  money from the tax revenue.                                                  
  Number 115                                                                   
  JIM STROMDAHL, Harbor Master, City of Petersburg,  concurred                 
  with the  previous  speaker's  remarks.    He  said  one  of                 
  Petersburg's harbors is over 30 years old and another one is                 
  22 years  old.  Both  harbors need major  maintenance before                 
  the city could take them over  and work out a cost-effective                 
  plan so they could run the harbors in the future.                            
  Number 150                                                                   
  DOUG ENSLEY, Director of Ports & Harbors, City of Ketchikan,                 
  concurred with the  previous speakers'  comments on SB  167.                 
  Ketchikan's facilities are extremely  old and the conditions                 
  are  very poor.   They  do their  maintenance, however,  the                 
  local funding is  not sufficient.  He  believes SB 167 is  a                 
  good step  in the right direction to  assist the communities                 
  that are operating boat harbors and  bringing them to a more                 
  acceptable condition.                                                        
  Mr. Ensley suggested amending SB 167 to remove  any language                 
  which puts in a formula dividing the facilities between what                 
  are municipally owned and what are primarily state owned.                    
  Number 210                                                                   
  JUD FAGER, City Assembly, City & Borough of Sitka, said with                 
  DOT pushing to  give ownership to municipalities,  there has                 
  to be a fiscal  side of revenue coming  from municipalities.                 
  He said municipalities do not want  to change from the State                 
  of  Alaska  being  responsible  for  major  maintenance  and                 
  construction over $10,000.  Harbors are run like a business,                 
  set  up as an  enterprise fund, and they  won't enter into a                 
  losing proposition, he said.                                                 
  Mr. Fager pointed out that the legislation provides that the                 
  revenues  would  be used  only  for  harbors, etc.,  and  he                 
  suggested  adding  that it  could also  be used  for bonding                 
  capabilities for further construction.                                       
  Number 250                                                                   
  BRIAN  BERGMAN,  Harbor  Master, City  &  Borough  of Sitka,                 
  suggested as a  clarification, that  on page 1,  line 9  and                 
  page 2,  line 1, to substitute the  word "port" for the word                 
  "water."  He  said the municipal  water systems are part  of                 
  the harbor facilities themselves.                                            
  Number 275                                                                   
  SENATOR  LINCOLN   asked  if  the  definition   of  "moorage                 
  facility" could include a facility on a river.                               
  RON LIND, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities,                  
  clarified  that  the  reason  the  words "water  and  harbor                 
  facilities" are in  the legislation is because  launch ramps                 
  are not really harbors  and are not moorage facilities.   He                 
  said  his  interpretation  of "moorage"  would  be  that the                 
  lineal  footage of  a launch  ramp would  not  be applicable                 
  because a boat is not moored at a launch ramp.  If there was                 
  a  temporary floatation  or  a  temporary docking  structure                 
  along a river or  a lake where a boat could  be moored, that                 
  would qualify.                                                               
  SENATOR LINCOLN said she would like  to see the bill written                 
  as broadly  as possible so that it  won't have to be amended                 
  later, but her concern  is assuring that the taxes  be given                 
  to  the area where the  revenue taxation occurs versus where                 
  the retail sale occurs.                                                      
  Number 345                                                                   
  LARRY  MEYERS,  Director,  Income &  Excise  Audit Division,                 
  Department   of  Revenue,  said   the  department  has  been                 
  wrestling with  the question of  how to  identify where  the                 
  ultimate  use of the  tax dollars are.   Right  now, the tax                 
  system is set  up whereby they  tax at the first  entry into                 
  the  state  or  at  the wholesale  level.    The  department                 
  emphasis, in the past, has been  to tax them when they  know                 
  they have the best chance of administrating the taxes.                       
  Number 360                                                                   
  SENATOR  LINCOLN requested that the issue  be looked into to                 
  see if  there is a way to cleanup  the language to deal with                 
  where the actual use of that fuel occurs.                                    
  Number 390                                                                   
  RON LIND, referred to page 2, line 7, and said the way it is                 
  written it  would be the  commissioner of the  Department of                 
  Revenue  who  would  determine  the  total  linear  footage.                 
  However,  the  Department  of  Revenue   doesn't  have  that                 
  information  available,  and  it   is  suggested  that   the                 
  Department of Transportation and Public Facilities determine                 
  the total linear footage  owned by the state.  Also, on page                 
  2, lines  2 and  3, he  suggested adding  an amendment  that                 
  would speak to  the municipalities certifying the  amount of                 
  the  sales  within  the municipality  and  the  total lineal                 
  footage that was owned  by the municipality as a  way to try                 
  and  keep  down  the administrative  costs  of  running this                 
  program.  He  added that  one of the  biggest problems  that                 
  will come if they start doing a proration or attempt to find                 
  fuel use statistics on  very localized areas is the  cost of                 
  administration, which is going to be very high.                              
  Number 430                                                                   
  JOE AMBROSE,  staff to  Senator Robin  Taylor, said  several                 
  points  have  been raised  in  the  hearing on  SB  167, and                 
  Senator  Taylor  is  more  than   willing  to  consider  any                 
  amendments to it.                                                            
  Number 450                                                                   
  TOM  BRIGGS,  City Administrator,  City  of Craig,  said the                 
  purpose  of   the  original  House  bill  was  to  enable  a                 
  municipality that  is going to  take over the  ownership and                 
  operations of their harbor facilities, which have been owned                 
  by DOT up  to this point,  to have some revenue  to maintain                 
  and improve, if necessary, those harbors.  There are several                 
  communities in Alaska  that have assumed ownership  of their                 
  harbors, and  the purpose of the  bill is to enable  the tax                 
  that is collected for  marine watercraft fuels to go  to the                 
  municipality to  maintain the harbor facility.   He said the                 
  municipalities that are  participating in this want  to take                 
  over  the  responsibility,  and  they   are  asking  for  an                 
  incentive  for the municipal  governments to  start assuming                 
  those things which have  been funded by the general  fund up                 
  to now.                                                                      
  Number 480                                                                   
  There being no other witnesses wishing to testify on SB 167,                 
  CHAIRMAN  SHARP  said  it would  be  held  in  committee for                 
  further work.                                                                
  There  being  no   further  business  to  come   before  the                 
  committee, the meeting was adjourned at 4:32 p.m.                            

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