House Approves Creating "Military Facility Zones" (HB 316)
HB316 aims to help communities & businesses support bases, bolster missions
Monday, March 5, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Communities and businesses stand to benefit from federal tax credit programs and bolster their military business thanks to a bill passed by the Alaska House today.
House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Steve Thompson, gives statutory authority to the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to approve creating “Military Facility Zones” within the State of Alaska to enhance a base’s ability to fulfill its mission.
“BRAC rumblings from Congress and the potential movement of the F-16s away from Eielson Air Force Base are just two recent examples of how tenuous it is for us right now; it shows that our ability to keep and benefit from our military – for our economy and our safety – is at risk unless we find ways to better support the costs and needs of the bases while making their missions more efficient to carry out,” Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said.
Thompson said the Zones are modeled after those already successfully employed in Alabama, Arizona, Maryland, Texas and Virginia, and can offer a flexible tool to municipalities and businesses to stimulate the areas in close proximity to bases.
Funding for such zones in Alaska may be available from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) or from federal New Market Tax Credits. Federal, state, local, or private funding sources, credit, or guarantee programs can be made available directly to municipalities and boroughs that are working on specifically-approved projects within a Zone.
HB 316 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.