REPORT TITLE:
Ecotourism


DESCRIPTION:
Creates a private/public matching ecotourism fund to improve the
trail system in Hawaii and promote ecotourism to be administered
and funded by the Hawaii tourism authority.  Creates an income
tax credit for contributions made to the ecotourism special fund.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           520
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO ECOTOURISM.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  Chapter 201B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 2 amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated
 
 3 and to read as follows:
 
 4      "201B-     Matching ecotourism special fund.  (a)  There is
 
 5 established in the state treasury the matching ecotourism special
 
 6 fund, to be administered by the authority, into which shall be
 
 7 deposited all gifts, grants, and other funds accepted by the
 
 8 authority from sources other than state funds that will be
 
 9 matched dollar for dollar by funds from the tourism special fund
 
10 established in section 201B-11.
 
11      (b)  Moneys in the matching ecotourism special fund may be
 
12 placed in interest-bearing accounts or otherwise invested by the
 
13 authority until such time as the moneys may be needed.  All
 
14 interest accruing from the investment of these moneys shall be
 
15 credited to the matching ecotourism special fund.
 
16      (c)  Moneys in the matching ecotourism special fund shall be
 
17 used by the authority to promote ecotourism, including regular
 
18 distributions to the department of land and natural resources for
 
19 the purposes of maintaining and improving the trail systems in
 

 
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 1 Hawaii."
 
 2      SECTION 2.  Chapter 235, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 3 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
 4 read as follows:
 
 5      "235-     Ecotourism credit.  (a)  Each individual or
 
 6 corporate income taxpayer, who files an income tax return for a
 
 7 taxable year, and who is not claimed or is not otherwise eligible
 
 8 to be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer for Hawaii state
 
 9 individual income tax purposes, may claim an ecotourism credit
 
10 against the taxpayer's income tax liability for the taxable year
 
11 for which the income tax return is being filed when the taxpayer
 
12 has made a contribution to the matching ecotourism special fund
 
13 during the taxable year.
 
14      (b)  The amount of the credit shall be equal to the amount
 
15 of the contribution paid by the taxpayer to the matching
 
16 ecotourism special fund established in section 201B-   , during
 
17 the taxable year for which the income tax return is being filed
 
18 but shall not be more than $       for individual taxpayers or
 
19 $       for corporate taxpayers in any one taxable year.
 
20 Taxpayers filing joint returns may claim up to $      .
 
21      (c)  The tax credit claimed by a taxpayer pursuant to this
 
22 section shall be deductible from the taxpayer's income tax
 
23 liability, if any, for the tax year in which the credit is
 

 
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 1 properly claimed.  If the tax credit claimed by a taxpayer
 
 2 exceeds the amount of income tax payment due from the taxpayer,
 
 3 the excess of credit over payment due shall be carried over to
 
 4 successive years until exhausted.
 
 5      (d)  The director of taxation shall prepare forms as may be
 
 6 necessary to claim a credit under this section.  The director may
 
 7 also require the taxpayer to furnish reasonable information in
 
 8 order that the director may ascertain the validity of the claim
 
 9 for credit made under this section.  The director may adopt rules
 
10 necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section pursuant to
 
11 chapter 91.
 
12      (e)  All claims for tax credits under this section,
 
13 including any amended claims, shall be filed on or before the end
 
14 of the twelfth month following the close of the taxable year for
 
15 which the credits may be claimed.  Failure to comply with the
 
16 foregoing provision shall constitute a waiver of the right to
 
17 claim the credit."
 
18      SECTION 3.  Section 201B-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
19 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
 
20      "(c)  Moneys in the tourism special fund shall be used by
 
21 the authority for the purposes of this chapter, provided that
 
22 [not]:
 
23      (1)  Not more than three per cent of this amount shall be
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           520
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1           used for administrative expenses[; provided further
 
 2           that] and of this amount the sum of $15,000 shall be
 
 3           made available for a protocol fund to be expended at
 
 4           the discretion of the executive director; [provided
 
 5           further that moneys]
 
 6      (2)  Moneys in the tourism special fund shall be used for
 
 7           the salaries and expenses of the office of tourism
 
 8           established in section 201-92[.]; and
 
 9      (3)  Moneys in the tourism special fund shall be used to
 
10           match grants, gifts, and other non-state contributions
 
11           to the matching ecotourism special fund."
 
12      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
13 New statutory material is underscored.
 
14      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999;
 
15 provided that section 2, shall apply to taxable years beginning
 
16 after December 31, 1999.
 
17 
 
18                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________