CSHB 383(AET): "An Act providing for a credit against the vehicle rental tax; establishing the Travel Alaska Board; relating to a tourism marketing assessment; and establishing a tourism marketing fund."
00 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 383(AET) 01 "An Act providing for a credit against the vehicle rental tax; establishing the Travel 02 Alaska Board; relating to a tourism marketing assessment; and establishing a tourism 03 marketing fund." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 43.52 is amended by adding a new section to read: 06 Sec. 43.52.095. Credit. (a) A taxpayer is allowed a credit against the tax due 07 under AS 43.52.010 - 43.52.099 equal to a cash contribution to the Alaska tourism 08 marketing fund established in AS 44.25.295. 09 (b) The credit under this section may not reduce a person's tax liability under 10 AS 43.52.010 - 43.52.099 to below zero for any tax year. An unused credit or portion 11 of a credit not used under this section for a tax year may not be sold, traded, 12 transferred, or applied in a subsequent tax year. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 44.25 is amended by adding new sections to read: 14 Article 4. Travel Alaska Board.
01 Sec. 44.25.200. Travel Alaska Board established. The Travel Alaska Board 02 is established in the department. Exercise by the board of the powers conferred by 03 AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300 is an essential governmental function of the state. 04 Sec. 44.25.205. Board members. (a) The board consists of between 21 and 25 05 voting board members appointed by the governor. The board must have an odd 06 number of members. 07 (b) The governor shall fill a vacancy in the voting membership of the board 08 from a list of nominees submitted by the board. The governor may reject a list or a 09 portion of a list submitted under this subsection and request that the board submit 10 another list. A list submitted to the governor by the board under this subsection for a 11 vacancy 12 (1) caused by the expiration of a term shall be composed of the 13 nominees that received the highest percentages of votes in an election of assessed 14 tourism businesses, based on weighted votes, as described in AS 44.25.275; 15 (2) not caused by the expiration of a term shall be composed of 16 nominees approved by the board; a nominee approved by the board under this 17 paragraph is not required to have previously been the subject of an election under 18 AS 44.25.275. 19 (c) Board members shall represent segments, business sizes, and regions in the 20 state listed in AS 44.33.136(b)(1). Except as provided in (f) of this section, a voting 21 member of the board shall be both a representative of an assessed business and a 22 member of the leading statewide nonprofit tourism marketing association. 23 Notwithstanding AS 39.05.100, a board member is not required to be a registered 24 voter or a resident of the state. 25 (d) In addition to the voting members of the board, the board may elect or 26 remove ex officio nonvoting members. A nonvoting member need not be a member of 27 the leading statewide nonprofit tourism marketing association and may not be counted 28 for the purposes of establishing a quorum, taking an action, electing a chair or vice- 29 chair under (e) of this section, or adopting a motion or resolution under AS 44.25.220. 30 (e) The voting board members shall annually elect a chair and vice-chair from 31 among the board's voting members.
01 (f) If all assessments are terminated under AS 44.25.265, the board shall 02 continue in existence until June 30 of the year following the year in which the last 03 assessment is terminated for the purpose of concluding its affairs. During this period, 04 the board may continue to perform its duties under this chapter and may propose 05 additional assessments. If a new assessment has not been levied under AS 44.25.255 06 during this period, the board shall cease all activities. 07 Sec. 44.25.210. Term of office. Board members appointed under 08 AS 44.25.205(a) serve staggered three-year terms and may be reappointed. An 09 individual appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the balance of the term for 10 which the board member's predecessor on the board was appointed. 11 Sec. 44.25.215. Removal. Board members may be removed from the board by 12 the governor for cause. The board may suggest to the governor the removal of a board 13 member. 14 Sec. 44.25.220. Quorum. (a) A majority of the voting members of the board 15 constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business and the exercise of the powers and 16 duties of the board. The board may approve an election for the levy, amendment, or 17 termination of an assessment only by an affirmative vote of a majority of the full 18 voting membership of the board. All other actions may be taken and motions and 19 resolutions may be adopted upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting 20 members present. 21 (b) The board may meet and transact business by electronic media. Actions 22 taken at a meeting held by electronic media under this subsection have the same legal 23 effect as actions taken at a meeting held in person. 24 Sec. 44.25.225. Compensation of board members. Board members receive 25 no salary and are not entitled to per diem or travel expenses. 26 Sec. 44.25.230. Meetings. The board shall meet at least twice a year. A 27 meeting of the board shall occur at the call of the chair or upon the written request of 28 five members of the board. 29 Sec. 44.25.235. Administration and regulations. (a) The board may request 30 administrative support from the leading statewide nonprofit tourism marketing 31 association. The board shall work with the leading statewide nonprofit tourism
01 marketing association to accomplish the purposes of AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300. 02 (b) The board may adopt or amend definitions for "tourism industry," 03 "segment," and "tourism business" and provide those amended or adopted definitions 04 to the department. The department may adopt or amend the definitions for "tourism 05 industry," "segment," and "tourism business" for the purposes of administering the tax 06 under AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300 after receiving the definitions adopted or amended by 07 the board under this subsection. The department may, for the purpose of adopting or 08 amending regulations defining "tourism industry," "segment," and "tourism business," 09 accept the board's definitions or reject the board's definitions and request alternate 10 definitions from the board. A definition adopted under this subsection must comply 11 with, or contain the necessary exceptions to comply with, the Constitution of the 12 United States and the Constitution of the State of Alaska. 13 Sec. 44.25.240. Powers of the board. In carrying out the powers of the board, 14 the board may 15 (1) prescribe, adopt, amend, and repeal policies related to the board; 16 (2) cooperate with a public or private board, organization, or agency 17 engaged in work or activities similar to the work or activities of the board for 18 destination marketing programs, including market research; 19 (3) establish offices in the state and otherwise incur expenses 20 incidental to the performance of its duties; 21 (4) appear on behalf of the board before boards, commissions, 22 departments, or other agencies of municipal, state, or federal government; 23 (5) acquire, hold, lease, sell, or otherwise dispose of property, but the 24 property is limited to that which is necessary to the administrative functioning of the 25 board; 26 (6) approve and enter into agreements related to the expenditure of 27 funds appropriated by the legislature to the board. 28 Sec. 44.25.245. Duties of the board. The board shall 29 (1) conduct programs of destination marketing, research, advertising, 30 or sales promotion designed to retain and expand the tourism industry in the state; 31 (2) promote all assessed segments of the tourism industry;
01 (3) prepare market research and marketing plans for the promotion of 02 assessed segments of the tourism industry; 03 (4) consider the return on investment for all nonadministrative 04 expenditures of assessment funds; 05 (5) submit an annual report to the governor, assessed tourism 06 businesses, and the senate secretary and chief clerk of the house of representatives on 07 or before the first day of each regular session of the legislature and notify the 08 legislature that the report is available; the report must 09 (A) describe the activities of the board; 10 (B) summarize the income and expenses of the board; 11 (C) provide the balance of the fund; and 12 (D) summarize and report on the marketing plan prepared 13 under (6) of this section; 14 (6) annually prepare a written marketing plan; the plan must promote 15 travel and tourism in the state and must include 16 (A) an evaluation of the previous year's budget and activities; 17 (B) a review of state tourism trends, conditions, and 18 opportunities; 19 (C) an identification of target audiences for tourism marketing 20 expenditures; 21 (D) marketing strategies, objectives, and targets; 22 (E) the current assessment rate applicable to assessed segments; 23 and 24 (F) the budget for the current year; 25 (7) promote travel and tourism to increase the number of persons 26 traveling to and within the state; and 27 (8) determine the segments of the tourism industry that provide similar 28 goods and services to travelers; a segment must be defined with sufficient clarity to 29 allow for the cost-effective identification of tourism businesses within that segment. 30 Sec. 44.25.250. Expenditures. An expenditure of the board 31 (1) must be consistent with the marketing plan prepared under
01 AS 44.25.245(6); and 02 (2) may not be spent on capital or infrastructure improvement projects; 03 for purposes of this paragraph, capital or infrastructure improvement projects do not 04 include information technology improvements, website development and maintenance, 05 or office equipment. 06 Sec. 44.25.255. Levy or amendment of the Alaska tourism marketing 07 assessment. (a) An election under AS 44.25.270 shall be held if the proposed election 08 for levying or amending an assessment under (c) of this section is approved by the 09 board. 10 (b) An assessment shall be levied on the gross revenue of a tourism business 11 that is related to an assessed segment at a rate provided under (c) of this section if an 12 election is held under AS 44.25.270 at which the rate under (c) of this section is 13 approved, as determined under AS 44.25.275. Each segment may be assessed at a 14 different rate. Only those rates stated in (c) of this section may be considered for an 15 assessment on a segment of the tourism industry. 16 (c) An assessment under this section may require a tourism business engaging 17 in a segment of the tourism industry to pay an assessment of 18 (1) zero percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 19 (2) 0.25 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 20 (3) 0.5 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 21 (4) 0.75 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 22 (5) one percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 23 (6) 1.25 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 24 (7) 1.5 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 25 (8) 1.75 percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment; 26 (9) two percent of the gross revenue related to the assessed segment. 27 (d) The board shall advertise an election held for the purpose of levying or 28 amending an assessment under AS 44.25.270 and, before an election is held under 29 AS 44.25.270, shall schedule public meetings for potential assessed tourism 30 businesses to provide input to the board. 31 Sec. 44.25.260. Collection of and information related to the Alaska tourism
01 marketing assessment. (a) A tourism business shall pay the assessment levied under 02 AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300. Each assessed tourism business may pass the cost of the 03 assessment on to its customers at the time a transaction is consummated. If the cost is 04 passed on to a customer, the assessed tourism business shall disclose the amount in 05 advance and separately state the amount from the amount charged and any other 06 applicable taxes, and shall give each customer a receipt of payment. The assessment 07 shall be disclosed as the "Alaska tourism marketing assessment." The assessment is 08 imposed solely on, and is the sole obligation of, the assessed tourism business, even if 09 it is passed on to customers. The assessment may not be considered revenue for any 10 purpose, including calculation of taxes. 11 (b) A return or other information furnished to the board or the department by 12 an assessed tourism business under AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300 is confidential and may 13 not be disclosed except 14 (1) by a person during the performance of an official duty under 15 AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300; 16 (2) to comply with a court order; 17 (3) in the course of a proceeding, a hearing, or litigation involving an 18 assessment; or 19 (4) upon written consent of the assessed tourism business. 20 (c) Information obtained by the board or the department to determine the 21 assessment for an assessed tourism business is not a public record for purposes of 22 AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.295. 23 (d) The department may require an assessed tourism business to 24 (1) maintain books and records that verify the gross revenue of the 25 business for purposes of the assessment; 26 (2) furnish any requested information; and 27 (3) permit the inspection by the department of portions of books and 28 records that relate to the gross revenue of the business or the amount of the 29 assessment. 30 Sec. 44.25.265. Termination of the Alaska tourism marketing assessment. 31 (a) An assessment terminates on the earlier of
01 (1) six years after the date of the first assessment; or 02 (2) the effective date stated on a ballot approved under the procedures 03 described in AS 44.25.270 in which the termination is approved, as determined under 04 AS 44.25.275. 05 (b) An election under AS 44.25.270 for the termination of an assessment shall 06 be held if the proposed election for the termination of the assessment is approved by 07 the board. 08 Sec. 44.25.270. Election procedures. (a) The board may conduct an election 09 under this section after the director of elections approves the 10 (1) notice to be published by the board; 11 (2) ballot to be used in the election; and 12 (3) registration and voting procedures. 13 (b) In conducting an election for an assessment under this section, 14 (1) the board shall adopt a proposed levy, amendment, or termination 15 of an assessment on a segment at a meeting of the board held not less than 60 days 16 before the date on which the ballots must be postmarked to be counted; 17 (2) the board shall hold at least one meeting not less than 30 days 18 before the date on which ballots must be postmarked to be counted to explain the 19 reason for the proposed levy, amendment, or termination of the assessment and to 20 explain the voting procedure to be used in the election; the board shall provide notice 21 of the meeting by 22 (A) mailing a notice to each tourism business proposed to be 23 assessed; and 24 (B) publishing the notice in at least one newspaper of general 25 circulation in each region of the state at least two weeks before the meeting; 26 (3) the director of elections shall mail ballots to each tourism business 27 proposed to pay an assessment not more than 45 days before the date specified as the 28 date ballots must be postmarked; the ballot must 29 (A) state that an assessment is to be levied, amended, or 30 terminated, as applicable; 31 (B) state the assessment rate to be levied, amended, or
01 terminated, as applicable, for the segment, and describe all existing 02 assessments; 03 (C) state that each vote will be weighted in proportion to the 04 projected assessment each voting tourism business is estimated to pay for the 05 following calendar year; 06 (D) state the effective date of the levy, amendment, or 07 termination of the assessment; 08 (E) ask whether the assessment shall 09 (i) be levied or amended, in which case all assessments 10 that would otherwise apply continue; or 11 (ii) terminate; 12 (F) be returned by mail to the director of elections; the director 13 of elections or a representative shall count the ballots. 14 (c) In conducting an election for the nomination of board members, the 15 (1) board shall provide notice of the election by mailing or providing 16 electronic notice to each 17 (A) currently assessed tourism business if the ballot does not 18 also contain a proposed levy, amendment, or termination of an assessment; or 19 (B) tourism business proposed to be assessed if the ballot also 20 contains a proposed levy, amendment, or termination of an assessment; 21 (2) director of elections shall mail ballots to each business specified in 22 (1) of this subsection not more than 45 days before the date specified as the date 23 ballots must be postmarked; the ballot must 24 (A) state the name of each proposed nominee; 25 (B) state that each vote will be weighted in proportion to the 26 projected assessment each voting tourism business is estimated to pay for the 27 following calendar year; 28 (C) ask whether each proposed nominee shall be nominated; 29 (D) be returned by mail to the director of elections; the director 30 of elections or a representative shall count the ballots. 31 (d) In an election for an assessment under this section, assessments for all
01 segments, both existing and proposed, must be described on the ballot and approved or 02 rejected, in total, by voters in a single vote. If the election proposes levying or 03 amending an assessment and voters reject the levy or amendment, all existing 04 assessments will continue until terminated as provided under AS 44.25.265. If the 05 election proposes terminating an assessment and voters reject the termination, no 06 existing assessments terminate. 07 (e) The director of elections, in consultation with the department, shall certify 08 the results of an election under this section if the director determines that the 09 applicable requirements of (a) - (d) of this section and AS 44.25.275 have been 10 satisfied. 11 (f) For purposes of this section, a ballot submitted by a tourism business is 12 presumed valid if the ballot is signed by an individual who is indicated to be an officer 13 of the tourism business or an authorized representative. 14 Sec. 44.25.275. Weighted votes. (a) For a levy, amendment, or termination of 15 an assessment to be approved under AS 44.25.270, or for the selection of board 16 nominees to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of a term to be submitted to the 17 governor under AS 44.25.205(b), the action must be approved by tourism businesses 18 that, in total, represent more than 50 percent of the weighted votes received. Votes 19 shall be weighted in proportion to the assessment that each voting tourism business is 20 estimated to pay for the calendar year immediately following the election, as 21 determined under AS 44.25.260. In a vote related to an assessment on a segment for 22 which an assessment is currently levied, only the votes of tourism businesses that pay 23 an assessment at the time of the election shall be counted, weighted as described in 24 this section. The weight of a vote of a tourism business is confidential. 25 (b) The department shall adopt regulations to establish the method for 26 determining weighted votes of a tourism business for which the department has 27 insufficient information to determine the assessment that business is estimated to pay 28 for the calendar year immediately following the election. 29 Sec. 44.25.280. Determination of value. Upon request of the director of 30 elections, the department shall determine the estimated assessment for each assessed 31 tourism business for any calendar year, including a future calendar year for purposes
01 of weighting votes under AS 44.25.275. The department may require a tourism 02 business to provide information that is necessary to determine an estimated assessment 03 under this section. The department shall keep information collected for purposes of 04 this section confidential under AS 44.25.260. 05 Sec. 44.25.285. Remitting assessments. Each assessed tourism business shall 06 remit to the department within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter the total 07 amount of the assessment owed on the value of assessed gross revenue in the previous 08 calendar quarter. The department shall inform the board within 60 days after the end 09 of each calendar quarter of the total amount of assessment collections as of the 30 days 10 following the preceding calendar quarter available to be apportioned by the board. An 11 assessed tourism business that fails to remit an assessment is subject to penalties as 12 provided in AS 43.05 and AS 43.10. 13 Sec. 44.25.290. Enforcement of assessments. The provisions of AS 43.05 and 14 AS 43.10 apply to the enforcement and collection of the Alaska tourism marketing 15 assessment. 16 Sec. 44.25.295. Assessment proceeds; Alaska tourism marketing fund. (a) 17 The Alaska tourism marketing fund is established in the general fund. The department 18 shall separately account for the revenue collected from the assessment and deposit the 19 amount into the fund. The department may also receive donations to the fund and shall 20 deposit the donations into the fund. 21 (b) The legislature may appropriate money in the fund to the 22 (1) department for the costs of administering the assessment; and 23 (2) board for the purpose of executing a marketing plan prepared under 24 AS 44.25.245(6). 25 (c) Nothing in this section creates a dedicated fund. 26 Sec. 44.25.300. Definitions. In AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300, 27 (1) "assessment" means an assessment levied under AS 44.25.200 - 28 44.25.300; 29 (2) "board" means the Travel Alaska Board; 30 (3) "department" means the Department of Revenue; 31 (4) "fund" means the Alaska tourism marketing fund established under
01 AS 44.25.295; 02 (5) "gross revenue" means the total fees and costs charged for the sale 03 of goods or services; 04 (6) "segment" means a segment of the tourism industry as determined 05 under regulations adopted by the department; 06 (7) "traveler" means a person who travels for business, recreation, or 07 pleasure. 08 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 TRANSITION. (a) The board of directors of the leading statewide nonprofit tourism 11 marketing association shall provide to the governor a list of nominees to serve on a transition 12 board. The governor shall appoint the initial members of the transition board from the list 13 provided under this subsection. The governor may reject all or a portion of the list provided 14 under this subsection and request another list. 15 (b) The transition board shall consist of 24 members. The transition board shall 16 establish procedures for elections and propose to the governor the initial number of members 17 to serve on the Travel Alaska Board. 18 (c) The transition board shall adopt definitions for "tourism industry," "segment," and 19 "tourism business" and provide them to the department. The department shall adopt 20 definitions for "tourism industry," "segment," and "tourism business" for the purposes of 21 administering the assessment under AS 44.25.200 - 44.25.300 after receiving the definitions 22 adopted by the board under this subsection. The department may, for the purpose of adopting 23 regulations defining "tourism industry," "segment," and "tourism business," accept the board's 24 definitions or reject the board's definitions and request alternate definitions from the board. A 25 definition adopted under this subsection must comply with, or contain the necessary 26 exceptions to comply with, the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of 27 Alaska. 28 (d) The transition board, the director of elections, and the department shall hold an 29 election in compliance with the requirements in AS 44.25.205, 44.25.270, 44.25.275, and 30 44.25.280, added by sec. 2 of this Act, for the purposes of determining nominees for the 31 Travel Alaska Board and for levying an assessment that complies with AS 44.25.255, added
01 by sec. 2 of this Act. Following the election, the transition board shall provide the governor a 02 list of nominees for the Travel Alaska Board. The transition board exists only until the Travel 03 Alaska Board is appointed. 04 (e) The governor shall appoint the initial members of the Travel Alaska Board from a 05 list provided under (d) of this section. The governor may reject all or a portion of a list 06 provided under (d) of this section and request another list. 07 (f) In this section, 08 (1) "assessment" has the meaning given in AS 44.25.300, added by sec. 2 of 09 this Act; 10 (2) "department" means the Department of Revenue.