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Bill Exempting Volunteer Sports Officials from Unemployment Tax Heading to the Governor - Stoltze's HB 377

Stoltze’s HB 377 lifts unnecessary burden on Alaska volunteers

Friday, April 2, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State Senate today unanimously passed House Bill 377, legislation exempting volunteer amateur sports officials from paying state unemployment taxes. House Finance Committee Co-Chair Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su, sponsored the bill, which passed the House unanimously March 24.

“Volunteers sports officials in Alaska are just that: volunteers. These jobs aren’t their primary careers; they’re escapes from their daily jobs or a hobby. They do it because they love the game, or for the positive impacts they can make on their local rec. leagues or organized schools sports,” Stoltze said. “HB 377 creates an unemployment tax exemption for volunteer amateur sports officials, doing away with an unnecessary burden for both the officials and the leagues they serve. We’ve heard from the Alaska School Activities Association and others that without this fix they stand to take a severe financial hit in unemployment and workers compensation.”

The bill amends Alaska Statute 23.20, the Alaska Employment Security Act, adding a new exclusion from the definitions of employment. The proposed new definition for sports officials includes the following definition: “(B) ‘volunteer work’ means work for which compensation does not exceed $1,500 a year and is paid only to defray or reimburse the reasonable food, travel, and incidental expenses the person incurs in order to perform the work or as a result of performing the work.”

HB 377 now heads to the Governor for signature.

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