The three-member committee consists of Senators Bob Rochelle, Joe Haynes and Randy McNally. Mr. Rochelle said Monday morning that he wasn't certain which bills would be seriously considered at the meeting. "I haven't gotten a real good feel for it yet," he said. "It would not be unusual for many of them to be 'rolled' to the next meeting."
Among the bills on the agenda:
* One that would prohibit a local government from entering into a "payment in lieu of tax" agreement of over 20 years in duration. Such a law, had it been in place two years ago, would have theoretically kept Davidson and Wilson Counties from enacting 40-year tax breaks for Dell. "This bill will not affect existing agreements, so it will not affect Dell," Mr. Rochelle said. "But I think we need to find some way to limit the practice of giving companies extremely long-term exemptions from local property taxes."
* One that would authorize the state comptroller's office, rather than individual jurisdictions, to assess cellular phone towers for property tax purposes. "Cellular towers across the state have been appraised differently in different areas, and this bill would make it uniform," says Rep. John White, House sponsor of the bill.
* One that would exempt "certain radio stations with educational programming" from property taxes. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Thelma Harper and Rep. Jay West, was drawn up in response to the State Board of Equalization's preliminary ruling last fall that WPLN should not be exempt from property taxes.
* One that would repeal the state's tax on dividends and bond interest received by individuals and corporations, also known as the Hall Income Tax. This proposal is a part of the governor's proposal to assess a 3.75% income tax and is extremely unlikely to pass unless the income tax also passes.
* One that would earmark the Hall Income Tax money currently returned to local governments for education.
* One that would exempt economic development corporations from property taxes, and another that would exempt business incubators from property taxes.