PUBLIC HEARING: SB 533, SB 296

 

TAPES 48-49, A-B

 

SENATE REVENUE COMMITTEE

March 4, 2003†† 1:00 PM†† STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

 

Members Present:††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Ryan Deckert, Chair

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Tony Corcoran

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Lenn Hannon

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Charlie Ringo

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Bruce Starr

 

Members Excused:††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Ted Ferrioli, Vice-Chair†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

 

Witnesses Present:††††††††††† ††††††††††† Don LaFont, Richmond Community Church

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† John Phillips, Department of Revenue

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Michelle Deister, Oregon League of Cities

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Senator Gary George, District 12

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Mark Picker, Office of Senator George

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Tim Nesbitt, Oregon AFL-CIO

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Darren Bond, Oregon State Treasury

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Velma Hartwig, Lincoln County

 

Staff Present:††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Mazen Malik, Legislative Revenue Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Paul Warner, Legislative Revenue Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Tara Lantz, Committee Assistant

 

TAPE 48, SIDE A

 

003

Chair Deckert

Calls meeting to order at 1:03pm.

 

OPENS PUBLIC HEARING ON SB 296

 

010

Mazen Malik

Explains SB 296 which exempts dwelling and land provided by a religious organization to its spiritual leader. Exhibit 1. Discusses revenue impact. Exhibit 2. Discusses tax expenditure report for religious organizations. Exhibit 3.

 

 

 

071

Don LaFont

Testifies in support of SB 296 because it clarifies the language of the existing statute exempting religious organizations, making it consistent with the intent of the statute to exempt property owned by a religious organization if it is used for religious purposes. Gives personal account from own church in Multnomah County.

 

 

 

131

Sen. Corcoran

Asks if he has any suggestions as to what programs to cut in order to fund this tax exemption.

 

 

 

133

LaFont

Responds that he doesnít know of any programs, but that he doesnít think many people would apply for the exemption if it wasnít broadcast. States that if the exemption had been in effect as the statute intended the exemptions would have already been in effect.

 

 

 

144

Sen. Corcoran

States that in this tight economic time they have to ask that of everyone that comes to them with an exemption bill and that his timing is not right.

 

 

 

157

Sen. Deckert

States that this is the first exemption bill brought in front of the committee.

 

 

 

166

LaFont

States that one the reasons he pursued the bill was that his assessor suggested it in order to clarify the law for him and other assessors.

 

 

 

180

Sen. Deckert

States that it is not the idea of the bill that the committee is not supportive of, but the revenue impact.

 

 

 

193

John Phillips

Discusses the court case Washington County Vs. Department of Revenue in which the courts ruled that parsonages could be partially exempt if they were used primarily for religious purposes. States that the Department of Revenue doesnít support or oppose the bill.

 

 

 

231

Michelle Deister

Testifies in opposition to SB 296 because of the revenue impact.

 

CLOSES PUBLIC HEARING ON SB 296

 

OPENS PUBLIC HEARINGON SB 533

 

259

Paul Warner

Explains SB 533 which establishes the Tax Me More Fund, which is separate from the General Fund and designates moneys donated to the state without specific reference as to use for the Tax Me More Fund. Donors may earmark donations for specific state programs. Exhibit 5.

 

 

 

281

Sen. Gary George

Explains the origins of SB 533 and testifies in support because he has heard from many people that would like to donate money to the state but cannot.

 

 

 

311

Mark Bigger

Discusses the origins of SB 533 and discusses the developments in the Treasurers Office over the last week to come up with a process for donating money.

 

 

 

326

Sen. Deckert

Asks if there is already a way to donate money to specific agencies.

 

 

 

330

Sen. George

Responds that it appears it is getting closer to being able to do that, but that even if the mechanism is in place, the legislature should take the position of maintaining such a mechanism.

 

 

 

368

Sen. Ringo

States that using the word tax in the title has negative connotations and that if Sen. George had been serious about the bill, he would have given it a different title.

 

 

 

380

Sen. George

Responds that if a person feels that way, it might make them want to prove that they are willing to pay more. States that if the members would like to amend the bill, he would be happy with that.

 

 

 

401

Tim Nesbitt

States that a similar bill with an identical title was introduced in Washington a few weeks ago. States that he wonders if a new vehicle for donating is necessary, but that if it is, the legislature should not name it the Tax Me More Fund, but rather a name that promotes civic spirit and public giving.

 

 

 

446

Darren Bond

Discusses the current system for taking donations on the state website and the developments that have occurred since Measure 28. States he is concerned about the Treasury being able to track donations to every agency.

 

 

 

489

Sen. Deckert

Asks if it is possible to donate to a specific entity.

 

 

 

492

Bond

Responds that you can donate to a specific entity by contacting them personally. States that by tracking donations, it can cost more to track them than it benefits the agency.

 

TAPE 49, SIDE A

 

041

Bond

Discusses the process of donating to the General Fund and the School Fund. States that his position is that a mechanism is already in place for accepting donations and that the process of implementing a fund such as this would be cumbersome and expensive.

 

Discussion follows.

 

 

 

083

Sen. Hannon

Asks if the money people contribute can go to the Common School Fund.

 

 

 

087

Bond

Answers that people can donate specifically to the Common School Fund and that if they donít specify where a donation is to go, it goes to the Common School Fund.

 

 

 

095

Sen. Hannon

Asks if those funds were attempted to be raided by the legislature.

 

 

 

098

Bond

Responds that he doesnít know.

 

Discussion follows.

 

 

 

123

Sen. Deckert

States that it sounds like the Treasury has all the flexibility it needs to accept donations.

 

 

 

131

Sen. Corcoran

Asks if the staff knows the estimate of the costs associated with drafting a bill and holding a hearing.

 

 

 

139

Warner

Responds that he doesnít know.

 

 

 

144

Velma Hartwig

Testifies in support of SB 533 because she has heard from many people looking for a place to donate money to the state that donít have access to the internet.

 

 

 

173

Sen. Deckert

Adjourns meeting at 1:45pm.

 

 

 

Tape Log Submitted by,

 

 

 

Tara Lantz, Committee Assistant Reviewed by Kim Taylor James

 

Exhibit Summary:

1.      SB 296, Mazen Malik, Staff Measure Summary, 1p.

2.      SB 296, Mazen Malik, Revenue Impact Statement, 1p.

3.      SB 296, Mazen Malik, Tax Expenditure Book p. 299, 1p.

4.      SB 296, Don LaFont, Written Testimony, 3pp.

5.      SB 533, Paul Warner, Staff Measure Summary, 1p.

6.      SB 533, Sen. George, Oregon State Donation Web Page, 1p.

7.      SB 533, Oregon State Web Pages, 7pp.

8.      SB 533, Velma Hartwig, Written Testimony, 1p.