March 3rd, 2009 — By — In News & Events
Alaska House Passes Property Rights Bill
~ Alaska Rep. Craig Johnson
HOUSE OKs EXEMPTING RECREATIONAL STRUCTURES FROM EMINENT DOMAIN
Monday, March 02, 2009
Source: Alaska State Legislature’s House Majority
Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House today unanimously passed House Bill (HB) 49, legislation that strengthens Alaska property rights by adding permanent recreational structures to the inaccessible list for the exercise of eminent domain by local governments for the purpose of recreational development. Eminent domain could still be exercised for the purposes of economic development, like building schools, roads or utility infrastructure/upgrades.
The bill, sponsored by House Resources Committee Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, amends Alaska Statute AS 09.55.240(e), which already included personal residences. HB 49 would define recreation structures as permanent structures that are used by the owner or beneficiary of a trust holding legal title to the structure as a dwelling for seasonal recreational purposes.
“This bill came about from the use of local governments to impose eminent domain to increase their tax bases,” Johnson said. “We heard from many Alaskans with structures like cabins on streams and rivers that weren’t their primary homes, and they were afraid they were unprotected. HB 49 adds that level of protection for Alaska home-owners by placing their permanent recreational structures under statute as off-limits for exercising certain uses of eminent domain.”
HB 49 now moves to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information and a discussion by Rep. Johnson about the reasons Alaskans benefit from the passage of HB 49 click here.