First Get Oriented; Then Do the Easy Ones

The two revenue committees and the committees with jurisdiction over natural resources used the headlined mantra – first get oriented; then do the easy ones – during the first two weeks of business.

The Senate Finance & Revenue Committee, chaired by Senator Mark Hass, and the House Revenue Committee, chaired by Representative Phil Barnhart, are well aware of the scope and complexity of the issues. Each member held focused orientation sessions led by their talented staff of economists, the Legislative Revenue Office. The House committee has had
more turnover, which permitted the new members to ask “basic” questions without hesitation.

Although it is common understanding that the transportation package must be settled first, both committees next week will have hearings to catch their members up to the previous discussions and modest progress on public revenue reform. To speculate, this translates into business tax reform that will look toward a very broad-based value-added or gross receipts tax
at a very low rate. Part of the sweetener for voters will likely be a homestead special assessment within property tax reform. AOC will stay very close to the action.

The Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Senator Michael Dembrow, and the two House Committees with natural resources jurisdiction – Agriculture & Natural Resources, chaired by Representative Brian Clem, and Energy & Environment, chaired by Representative Ken Helm – have talented members. AOC should see fair treatment and positive returns from each committee.

Contributed by: Gil Riddell | AOC Public Lands  & Natural Resources policy manager