HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

 

January 30, 2003   Hearing Room D

1:00 PM Tapes  12 - 14

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Jeff Kropf, Chair

Rep. George Gilman, Vice-Chair

Rep. Kelley Wirth, Vice-Chair

Rep. Elizabeth Terry Beyer

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Donna Nelson

Rep. Patti Smith

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Ray Kelly, Committee Administrator

David Peffley, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES HEARD:                     HB 2197 – Public Hearing and Work Session 

                                                HB 2260 – Informational Meeting

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 12, A

003

Chair Kropf

Calls the meeting to order at 1:09 and opens a public hearing on

HB 2197.

HB 2197 – PUBLIC HEARING

029

Ray Kelly

Summarizes HB 2197.

044

Kristina McNitt

Oregon Small Woodlands Association.  Introduces agency and officers and submits (EXHIBIT A) in support of HB 2197.

095

Dave Schmidt

Introduces Working Group to Review State Tax Policies Affecting Small Tract Forestlands in Oregon and reports on their findings contained in (EXHIBIT B) – the Report of HB 2162.

211

Chair Kropf

Asks Mr. Schmidt if woodland owners have to make a choice amongst options and if there’s a timeline.

217

Schmidt

Recommends that the ability to change options is contained in the bill.

228

Rep. Nelson

Asks if an owner can submit two plans if they have different plots.

234

Schmidt

Responds as to acreage requirements for different plot sizes.

245

Schmidt

Continues with testimony and chronicles public involvement in their work group.

298

Rep. Smith

Asks what happens to people owning less than ten acres.

301

Schmidt

Responds that they would be assessed on the larger scale, but that the two rates would yield a very small cost difference.  

318

Rep. Smith

Asks Mr. Schmidt about further delineations amongst wood owners.

324

Schmidt

Responds to the changes in the plan.

327

McNitt

Adds that some of those questions will be addressed by the Department of Revenue.

335

Wirth

Asks about fire protection costs.

338

Schmidt

Responds to the fire patrol assessment.

341

Wirth

Asks whether that money is contained in the sinking fund.

346

McNitt

Addresses the sinking fund and talks about the review process.

366

Chair

Clarifies that HB 2197 is  the 20-80 referred option.  Asks why the 50% reduction option was not included.

382

Schmidt

Responds that the members of the committee could not come to a consensus, and that the 50% option still needs more study.

397

McNitt

Adds that pragmatic concerns dictated that they take reform one step at a time.

TAPE 13, A

010

Rep. Nelson

Asks how many people the work group is representing. 

012

McNitt

Believes that 25,000 people will be affected by the law, and that the Small Woodland Owners represent approximately 2000 woodland owners.  

021

Rep. Nelson

Asks about the dollar value for the volume of harvest. 

027

McNitt

Opts to refer to the Revenue Department.

030

Rep. Hunt

Asks if all 25,000 people are in the 10-5000 acre range.

032

McNitt

Confirms Rep. Hunt’s assumption.

033

Rep. Nelson

Asks about the possibility of an owner changing plans.

040

McNitt

Replies with the legal delineations.

048

Chair Kropf

Asks Mr. Schmidt how the 20-80 option changes for the owner.

053

Schmidt

Replies that he is not personally affected, because he can choose plans.

070

Norm Miller

Timber Tax Department Supervisor, Department of Revenue.  Discusses the harvest tax and the 20-80 system as it relates to HB 2197.  Submits his testimony (EXHIBIT C) and addresses the aim of decreasing the administrative costs of the program.

156

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there is a difference between Eastern and Western Oregon.

171

Miller

Points out the difference between the two regions and the methods for calculation.

184

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there are merits for the people who are hit by disaster.

200

Miller

States that such a concern is accounted for in this bill. 

209

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there is a lien paid on the property.

213

Miller

Responds that there is no lien.

222

Chair Kropf

Asks if the shift from the privilege tax has made a difference in the flow of revenue.

227

Miller

Replies that it’s too early to tell.

231

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there is much acreage available for small operations.

242

Wallace Rutledge

Director of Forestry Assistance, Department of Forestry. Responds to Rep. Nelson that there is approximately 780,000 acres of underproductive land.

253

Miller

Continues with the reasons for implementing the less than 5000 acre program.  Cites the second page of (EXHIBIT C) in support of the Revenue Department’s aim to educate the taxpayer.

328

Rep. Smith

Asks if the application process will be made uniform

333

Miller

Responds that it will be consistent state-wide.

335

Rep. Smith

Asks about the five-year payback.

338

Miller

Clarifies the five-year payback plan.  Continues testimony based on (EXHIBIT C).

TAPE 12, B

003

Miller

Continues with the tax burden under the various plans.  Refers to the severance tax rate.

046

Rep. Hunt

States that this legislation would save money because it simplifies the procedure and asks if that is the intention.

052

Miller

Responds that that is exactly the intention. 

055

Chair Kropf

Asks if the cost-cutting is a result of the five special sessions, or whether it would have come about anyway.

061

Miller

Responds they needed to make cuts anyway.

071

Rutledge

Submits (EXHIBIT D) and begins testimony in support of HB 2197.  Summarizes that this legislation does not add to the overall tax burden.

084

Nelson

Asks what the other major expenses are with regard to labor, permits, etc.

087

Rutledge

Defers to the upcoming speakers.

093

Rep. Wirth

Expresses a disapproval for Measure 50, and wonders if HB 2197 accomplishes the same end.

101

Miller

Replies that this legislation mirrors Measure 50, but relieves some of the burden on small land owners.

111

Rep. Wirth

States concern for a potential lack of revenue.

117

Miller

Responds that he’d like to defer to the revenue impact statement when it comes, but affirms that there could be a small revenue loss.

129

Chair Kropf

Adds that we don’t have the impact statements, because the bill has not yet been referred.

141

Clint Bentz

CPA and former technical adviser to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee introduces himself.

158

Paul Nys

Tree farmer in Columbia county introduces himself.

166

Bentz

Provides insight on the 20-80 system in support of HB 2197.  Attests to the harvest tax system and to the efficiency of a volume-based system.  Addresses earlier questions of the burden on farms of greater than 5000 acres. 

249

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there will be a grandfather provision. 

256

Bentz

States the severity of this concern, and affirms that the new program will not address taxation issues from the past.  Continues with testimony on how to calculate rate and the subsequent tax impact. 

349

Chair Kropf

Wants to confirm that people still in the program will pay a little less. 

352

Bentz

Confirms the Chair’s statement.  

363

Rep. Nelson

Asks how much impact we can expect.

366

Bentz

Reaffirms that there will be a slight reduction in revenue, but that it should be negligible.

390

Rep. Nelson

Asks about the certainty of the receipt of the incoming revenue.

406

Bentz

Affirms that the amount of tax is very little and that there will be some fluctuation.  Reiterates that there would be minimal impact either way. 

TAPE 13, B

001

Nys

Explains the options for small woodland owners through HB 2197 which fit both the harvest plan and the management plan.  States concern with the conversion from small family plots to commercial industrial plots.

051

Neil Westfall

Encourages support for HB 2197.

055

Chair Kropf

Asks what HB 2197 will do for Mr. Westfall, personally.

057

Westfall

Responds that it gives him the flexibility to choose amongst tax plans.

070

Greg Addington

Associate Director of Governmental Affairs, Oregon Farm Bureau.  Submits (EXHIBIT E) and reaffirms the prior testimony in support of HB 2179.

081

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing on HB 2179 and opens a work session on      HB 2179.

HB 2197 – WORK SESSION

097

Rep. Smith

MOTION: Moves HB 2197 to the floor with a DO PASS

                   Recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee

                   On Revenue by prior reference.

100

 

VOTE:  7-0

103

Chair Kropf

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

HB 2260 – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

105

Ray Kelly

Explains HB 2260.

114

Lindsay Ball

Oregon Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  Submits (EXHIBIT F) and testifies in support of HB 2260, as it would generate revenue needed to fund the departmental operations.  Explains and justifies the modest fee increases. 

310

Rep. Gilman

Asks for clarification of the duties of a watershed manager. 

317

Ball

Responds that the position manages and coordinates watershed activities and wildlife within that watershed. 

333

Chair Kropf

Asks if any listed positions are currently vacant. 

337

Ball

Responds that he will have to consult with human resources.  Responds that they will report back to the committee with the answer. 

350

Ball

Continues highlighting the proposed budget cuts. 

396

Marla Rae

ODFW Commissioner.  Testifies in support of HB 2260.  Refers to the town hall meetings eliciting public support.

TAPE 14, A

002

Commissioner Rae

Concludes testimony by repeating the widespread popular support for  HB 2260.

015

Chair Kropf

Asks about the circumstances of vacancies in the department.  Also asks for ODFW to produce the breakdown of support for the proposed legislation.

028

Ball

Reaffirms that the vast majority supports this legislation.

037

Chair Kropf

Asks for a numeric breakdown on those in support and those against this legislation.

043

Ball

States that he will definitely come up with those figures from the community meetings.

047

Rep. Smith

Requests a delineation of the makeup of the meetings.

052

Ray

States that they might not have such detailed information.

055

Ball

Divulges the name of the person who attended all of the meetings.

060

Rep. Nelson

Asks whether an out of state tax on clam diggers will be introduced. 

074

Ball

Responds that they have brought legislation on that issue five times and that it’s been rebuked by the legislature all five times, but adds that much support has ensued from town hall meetings regarding this issue. 

114

Rep. Nelson

States concern for the fee increases inherent in this bill.

130

Ball

Addresses the budget breakdown process.  States that cuts will still come to the surface. 

146

Rep. Nelson

Cites the governor’s objective of no pay increases for state employees.  Asks whether that concern is considered by this bill.

158

Ball

Reaffirms the agency’s commitment to zero-based budgeting.

160

Chair Kropf

Asks if assuming no pay increase, there would still be a budget shortfall.

170

Ball

Explains the cost of living increases.

177

Pam Ryan

Deputy Director, ODFW.  Addresses Chair Kropf’s budgetary concern.

183

Chair Kropf

Asks for clarification on the causes for the increases.

187

Ball

Gives the options for raising the proper revenue.

197

Rep. Gilman

Asks how many fish and wildlife officers ODFW has on staff.

200

Cynthia Kok

Captain, Fish and Wildlife Division for the Oregon State Police.  Replies that they are budgeted for 118 FTE.

213

Rep. Gilman

Asks how many of the 26 new positions are still filled.

216

Kok

States that she is not familiar with Rep. Gilman’s figures.

223

Rep. Gilman

Asks for the percentage breakdown of the officers’ activities.

227

Kok

Answers that it depends on funding.

240

Rep. Hunt

Asks if the workload increases along with the state population. 

246

Ball

Confirms that with more people and more work, more services are required.

273

Rep. Hunt

Asks if the proposed figures include the fee increases.

278

Ball

Responds that the table submitted doesn’t address current proposals.

293

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing on HB 2260 and adjourns the meeting at 3:20.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2197, written testimony, Kristina McNitt, 2 pp.

B – HB 2197, written testimony, Dave Schmidt, 64 pp.

C – HB 2197, written testimony, Norm Miller, 7 pp.

D – HB 2197, written testimony, Wallace Rutledge, 3 pp.

E – HB 2197, written testimony, Greg Addington, 1 p.

F – HB 2260, written testimony, Lindsay Ball, 6 pp.