Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124
03/22/2017 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE
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HB 132-TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES 5:02:05 PM CHAIR KITO announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 132, "An Act relating to transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers." 5:02:29 PM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to adopt CSHB 132, Version 30-LS0522\R as the working document. CHAIR KITO objected for purposes of discussion. 5:03:03 PM LAURA STIDOLPH, Staff, Representative Adam Wool, Alaska State Legislature, advised that Version R takes into account discussions during the last two committee hearings. This version provides a statewide framework for transportation network companies (TNC) across Alaska to provide the service Alaskans desire rather than a multitude of regulations hindering current "for-hire transportation options," thereby providing Alaskans with the seamless and relatively inexpensive transportation deserved. This bill allows for a free market by providing an extra income to constituents during this unsteady state's fiscal outlook. The Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOTPF) presented a change having to do with the regulation of TNCs at airports. She referred to Sec. 6, page 5, lines 14-18, which added subsection (b), and read as follows: (b) The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities may, under AS 02.15, adopt a regulation or enter into a contract, lease, or other arrangement with a transportation network company or driver for use of an international airport owned or operated by the state. A regulation or arrangement under AS 02.15 must be consistent with this chapter. MS. STIDOLPH explained that it allows for the DOTPF to regulate use of a TNC at an international airport owned and operated by the state. 5:04:55 PM MS. STIDOLPH noted that after hearing concerns from committee members regarding the ability for local control and local taxation, the sponsor believes it is fair for municipalities to impose a sales tax on the TNC driver in accordance with how similar services are taxed in a municipality, and makes clear that TNCs must follow local traffic ordinances. She referred to Sec. 8, page 12, lines 3-7, which read as follows: (b) The prohibition on regulation under (a) of this section does not include (1) imposition of a municipal sales tax on a transportation network company driver that taxes a trip originating in the municipality in the same manner that other services are taxed in the municipality; (2) a municipal traffic ordinance. MS. STIDOLPH explained THAT the provision allows municipalities to impose a sales tax and ensures that municipal traffic ordinances must be followed. 5:06:09 PM REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON commented that he had heard the TNCs say "that there was no jurisdiction where a sales tax was allowed in the United States." MS. STIDOLPH answered that this was the first time one of the TNCs has had sales tax mentioned in statewide legislation. 5:06:39 PM REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked how sales tax would be collected or tracked to know that it needed to collect sales tax. MS. STIDOLPH replied that sales tax will be collected and remitted with an operational decision between the driver and the TNC. The tax will come from the rider, the payment, and not from the driver, she said. 5:07:11 PM REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked how that scenario would work out since it deals in credit cards and not cash. MS. STIDOLPH referred to the third party collecting the money between the TNC and the driver, and said that tax will be included on top of the fare. The operational decision has not yet been made and will be worked out between the policymakers of the companies and the municipalities. REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP referred to CSHB 132, Sec. 6, beginning page 5, line 5, wherein Ms. Stidolph testified that the DOTPF may adopt regulations in its contract, lease, or other arrangements, and suggested he was unsure "that really provides anything." He asked why the TNCs would be interested in leasing from the state if there is no requirement to do so, with no municipal input. He said this simply authorizes the DOTPF to lease to a TNC, but there is nothing that says they will even have the conversation. 5:09:02 PM JOHN BINDER, Deputy Commissioner of Aviation, Commissioner's Office, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, responded that the issue comes down to the ability to regulate primarily where the Uber drivers pick up and drop off related to the airport operations. Airports around the country have had a significant challenge with this issue prior to having regulations in place by causing traffic jams and such, he said. The original language left some ambiguities as to whether airports would be allowed to stipulate where some of that activity may take place, he explained. 5:09:41 PM MR. BINDER agreed with Representative Knopp that the state does not own all of the airports. REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP surmised that the state would not have authority over some of the airports. Except when discussing authority, "all this is given, adopt, right to enter into a contract, lease, or other arrangement," but it does not offer enforcement power to mandate that the drivers utilize a certain spot, it has to be in cooperation. MR. BINDER responded that under current policies, certain regulation related to taxi service, for instance, allows requiring permits and dictating the drop-off and pick-up locations, rates, and those sorts of things. This is intended to at least provide the framework for a similar type of arrangement with TNCs. Obviously, he said, many of those details will be worked out as the TNC comes on board or expresses interest. In the absence of this, the original language appeared to preclude the airport from having any say in how its operations took place on the airport, he explained. 5:11:11 PM REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP referred to city-owned airports, such as Juneau or Kenai, and said they were not given any local control and "we wouldn't have any input to what happens at those airports." MR. BINDER answered in the affirmative. 5:11:34 PM REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON referred to the sales tax question and offered a scenario of taking a TNC from this building to the airport at a cost of $14.00, and asked whether he would be told the cost was $14.89 due to a sales tax, and how that would work. MS. STIDOLPH explained that the manner in which TNCs work, the passenger would know the exact cost before accepting the ride, which would include the tax. 5:12:22 PM REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD referred to the sale tax and asked whether it was applicable that a business license would be purchased in each city in order to have that sales tax transaction. MS. STIDOLPH answered in the affirmative, and explained that a person purchases a local business license and files quarterly sales tax. 5:12:58 PM CHAIR KITO removed his objection to Version R, which put CSHB Version R before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH commented that he does not have an objection, due to the discussion and numerous testimonies from the various TNCs as to the legislation being workable for their companies, he asked whether this legislation was still workable. 5:13:48 PM MITCHELL MATTHEWS, Representative, Uber Technologies, responded that Version R is workable from Uber's perspective. [HB 132 was held over.]