Rep. Kawasaki Legislation Creates New System for Staking State Land
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2016
Juneau – Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) introduced a bill in the Alaska House of Representatives last week to allow Alaskans to stake out their own parcels of remote state land for cabins.
House Bill 320, similar to a bill introduced in 2002 by Rep. Hugh Fate (R-Fairbanks), would let Alaskans select and stake out 2.5 acres of unencumbered state land that was not part of any current or anticipated state, federal, or Native land selection. They would then select from a state-approved list of surveyors to have the parcel surveyed and its boundaries certified, pay the surveying and recording fees, and then pay the assessed fair-market price to the state within two years to win fee simple title to the land.
“It is the dream of every Alaskan to own their own piece of Alaska,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “This is the fastest and least restrictive way to allow their dreams to become a reality.”
The bill includes limits on the amount of lake or river frontage allowed in each parcel and provides that no one individual could own more than one parcel at a time under this plan to avoid land speculation. Land would be subject to property taxes based on the location and local government taxation rates.
“The state has vast resources of land that are yet to be settled. It’s time that we make the process easier and more available to regular everyday Alaskans,” said Rep. Kawasaki.
The current Land lottery system has been successful, but limits the available land to preselected areas. Rep. Kawasaki’s bill would leave the choice to individuals and would also expect them to bear the costs.
HB 320 has been referred to the House Resources Committee.
For more information, contact Lachlan Gillispie in Rep. Kawasaki’s office at (907) 465-3466.