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House Approves Unemployment Tax Exemption for Volunteer Sports Officials - Stoltze's HB 377

Stoltze’s HB 377 lifts unnecessary burden on Alaska volunteers


Wednesday, March 24, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House 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.

“Sports officiating in Alaska is a secondary pursuit or hobby for many of the volunteers. They do it because they love the game, or for the positive impacts they can make on their local recreational 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 serveWe’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.”

“Alaskans love their youth sports, including the recently-contested ASAA March Madness Alaska and all the various leagues across the state,” Stoltze said. “We shouldn’t make the burden greater than the reward for Alaskans who choose to volunteer as sports officials.”

HB 377 now heads to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.

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