Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices
(a.k.a. the dark store study committee), met for the last time last week and voted to recommend three bills for the Joint Legislative Council to introduce this session. The bills make positive changes to the tax assessment process, but don't accomplish the League's goal of closing the dark store and
loopholes. The League commends committee members Amy Seibel and Rocco Vita for convincing the committee to make changes to the bill drafts beneficial to municipalities while rejecting changes sought by WMC's representative on the committee.
One of the committee's bill recommendations creates a process by which other taxing jurisdictions may agree to contribute to the cost a municipality incurs in assessing a particular property and/or help pay for the cost of defending the assessment against a taxpayer appeal.
Another bill authorizes the assessor to request a taxpayer to provide a specified list of documents relating to the fair market value of the property. The bill prohibits a person receiving such a request from objecting to an assessment before the board of review if the person fails to make a good faith effort to provide the requested information by March 31.
The final bill makes changes to the process taxpayers must follow when filing actions for excessive property tax assessments.
Study Committee on the Use of Police Body Cameras
is recommending introduction of a bill requiring law enforcement agencies using body cameras to develop a written policy and training requirements and retain footage for at least 120 days after it's recorded. The draft contains exceptions for longer retention in the case of an individual's death or arrest, among other things.
The language also lays out guidelines for distributing the footage under the state's open records law. It notes footage of a minor, "victim of a sensitive or violent crime" or someone with "a reasonable expectation of privacy" may be pixelated around the subject's face and identifying features to protect him or her.
The committee was unable to find consensus around language outlining when a police camera should be on or off.
Study Committee on the Investment and Use of School Trust Funds
recommend introduction of two bills, none of which reduce the ability of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to make loans to local governments. One of the committee's recommendations,
, increases the permissible term for a promissory note. Under the bill, a promissory note issued by a municipality for any public purpose must be repaid within 20 years after the original date of the note.
Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement
ended up not recommending any legislation on the two areas it spent the most time examining: 1) whether wedding barns need to obtain alcohol beverage licenses; and 2) industry dissatisfaction with the Department of Revenue's enforcement of alcohol beverage laws.