Dems: Ways & Means Committee Report — Week 12, 2018

March 28, 2018

SF 2388 – Ending central assessment of telecommunication property; transfer to local assessment and valuation;
SF 2389 – DNR authority to set pricing for camping and rental fees. 



SF 2388 would eliminate the current system for assessing telecommunication facilities that applies to wire-line telephone and Internet service providers and replace it with a traditional assessment process on a local basis. Currently, wire-line service providers are centrally assessed by the Department of Revenue on a number of factors to determine the value. The property includes wires and other transmission equipment. The property tax paid is distributed proportionally to the jurisdictions where the transmission infrastructure is located. The bill modifies cable television property assessment so that it is valued in the same manner and on comparable property as wireless and wire-line telecommunications companies under the legislation.

Telecommunications property would be locally assessed with the valuation of property limited to the value of the real property associated with the utility. This new procedure is projected to lower the taxable valuation of telecommunications property by an estimated $885 million and reduce property taxes to local governments by nearly $30 million.

An amendment adopted on the floor provided a three-year phase-in of the tax reduction. This is done by providing an additional exemption under the current central assessment system before transitioning to the local assessment system for assessments done after January 1, 2022.
[3/27: 39-8 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Dvorsky, Hogg, Jochum, Petersen, Quirmbach; Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]


SF 2389 would give the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authority to adjust fees for campsites, cabins and other facilities in state parks and management areas. Currently, the department establishes fees through the administrative rulemaking process, which can take more than six months. Under SF 2389, the DNR could set rates for campsites, including offering package deals and discounts, to more effectively market the sites.
[3/27: 47-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]

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