March 09, 2004
"We have been working on this language for nearly four years," says Representative Fate. "A lot of Alaskans have told me how important it is to have a remote cabin site, but often the land that the Department has offered, is either so inaccessible or unusable it is not practical for most Alaskans. HB 319 is designed to allow people to nominate five-acre parcels of remote land where they can build a cabin. Alaskans need and want the ability to have a place to get away from it all, to fish, hunt or just relax."
Presently, the state owns millions of acres of land. The vast majority of that land is for resource development. The remainder could be used to allow Alaskans to own a piece of their state. HB 319 requires the purchaser to submit the nomination to the department, which will determine if it qualifies for a remote parcel. Once approved a survey and appraisal will be conducted, paid for by the purchaser. Then an agreement will be signed and ultimately the land will be transferred to the new owner.
This type of sale will have benefits for everyone involved. The purchaser will have a parcel in a location they want. The state will receive appraised value that collectively could represent nearly $2 million annually, while a local community will be able to assess property taxes. Local businesses will benefit as construction material will be purchased for the cabin. There will also be purchases to access the site such as off-road vehicles or boats and motors.
HB 319 now moves to the House Finance Committee.
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