"An Act relating to the privileges of airport parking shuttles and to fees or charges imposed on a person who is not a lessee or concessionaire of an airport. "
Under Alaska law, commercial vehicles that deliver people to the airport fall into one of six general categories: limos, tour buses, standard bus service, off airport shuttles, off airport car rental shuttles and courtesy vehicles. Depending upon the vehicle's classification, a fee is charged for what is essentially use of the airport's curb and roadway. The authority for the setting of these specific rates can be found in AS 02.15.090 which requires the fees charged to be "reasonable and uniform for the same class of privileges and services… and [to be established] with due regard to the property and improvements used and the expense of operation by the state."
At present, the rates charged by the Department of Transportation for these different vehicles to utilize the airport curb at the Anchorage International Airport varies from $50.00 per year for a courtesy vehicle, taxi, or limo, to $100 per year for a tour passenger vehicle, up to a maximum of $1000.00 per year for a regularly scheduled bus.
In early 2005, the Department of Transportation proposed regulations, which would charge "off-airport valet parking services" a tax equal to 8% of their gross revenues. This change would constitute a drastic shift from the statutory language, which requires that the fees charged be "reasonable and uniform for the same class of privileges and services." While other courtesy services such as free hotel shuttles are charged a $50 per vehicle fee, the proposal would charge free parking shuttles 8% of gross sales or $250 annual minimum (whichever is greater). The two services are essentially the same class because both are "a free courtesy"; both offer an airport patron an off-site service and both require the same amount of accommodations on part of the Airport.
The purpose of SB 304 is to clarify the law with regard to the charging of off-airport businesses who simply drop patrons at the curb or pick them up upon return and reflects the sentiment that the Department should set rates, which are based on use and not as a percentage of gross revenues. SB 304 simply and specifically directs the Department that charges for usage must be consistent with other services that receive similar privileges and accommodations, may not be on a gross revenue basis and shall not have the effect of singling out one type of accommodations because it may currently or in the future compete with the airport.