Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/16/2003 02:37 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 104(FSH)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to payment of the fisheries business tax and                                                              
     to security for collection of the fisheries business tax."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
"personal"  recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal note,  then he                                                            
objected to  the motion in order to  hear testimony from  the bill's                                                            
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS, the  bill's sponsor,  informed the  Committee                                                            
that the Governor's  Fisheries Task Force was formed  to address the                                                            
"in  crisis" fishing  industry.  He  continued  that this  bill  was                                                            
crafted by the  Fisheries Task Force to assist the  fishing industry                                                            
by allowing  small  processors  to defer  payment  of the  Fisheries                                                            
Business Tax  to April first and make  monthly payments rather  than                                                            
                                            st                                                                                  
one lump sum  payment on or before  March 31  of the  year following                                                            
the tax year.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde  mentioned that, as reflected in the  fiscal note, the                                                            
monthly  payment process  would require  an increase  in  accounting                                                            
personnel;  however, he  noted that  the receipt  of these  payments                                                            
would "counterbalance"  the fiscal note as it would  allow the State                                                            
to access funds earlier than the current process.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  G. Stevens  agreed the  funds  would be  available for  the                                                            
State to  invest. He reminded  the Committee  that this legislation                                                             
would  affect   approximately  one   dozen  small  processors,   and                                                            
therefore,  he  asserted,  the program  would  be "fairly  easy"  to                                                            
administer.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator B. Stevens  voiced support for this legislation  as it would                                                            
assist small  processors  "with their cash  management" by  removing                                                            
"the  burden of  putting  up a  big  bond at  the beginning  of  the                                                            
season."  He noted that  this program  "is only  available to  those                                                            
that are current  on all tax obligations;"  however, he stated  that                                                            
it  would  continue  the  requirement  of  a  bond  or  property  as                                                            
collateral  while allowing the processor  to make monthly  payments.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green asked whether  the Department of Revenue could absorb                                                            
the $14,000 fiscal note.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  G. Stevens  responded that  the Department  has  determined                                                            
this to be the cost of the program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor withdrew his objection to the motion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further objection, CS HB 104(FSH)  was REPORTED from                                                            
Committee  with  previous  fiscal note  #2  from the  Department  of                                                            
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

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