REPORT TITLE:
Watershed Management Projects


DESCRIPTION:
Broadens the use of the natural area reserve fund by including
watershed management projects.  (CD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            C.D. 1
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO CONVEYANCE TAX.



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

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that with over half of
 
 2 Hawaii's remaining natural lands in private ownership, the
 
 3 legislature in 1991, established the natural area partnership
 
 4 program and the forest stewardship program to provide incentives
 
 5 for private landowners to provide long-term protection of
 
 6 important natural resources on private lands.  These incentives
 
 7 were in the form of state matching funds to landowners willing to
 
 8 dedicate their lands to conservation.
 
 9      The legislature provided for a permanent, dedicated source
 
10 of funding for the programs by earmarking twenty-five per cent of
 
11 the conveyance tax revenues for these programs.  The
 
12 legislature's intent was to enhance private participation in the
 
13 protection and management of conservation lands.
 
14      The legislature finds that since the inception of the
 
15 natural area partnership and forest stewardship programs,
 
16 significant efforts have given rise to another innovative public-
 
17 private undertaking involving the collaboration of major
 
18 landowners and stakeholders to protect thousands of acres of
 
19 critical watershed areas.  The legislature further finds that
 

 
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 1 this effort began with the formation of the East Maui Watershed
 
 2 Partnership in 1991, followed by West Maui Watershed Partnership
 
 3 in 1998, and Koolau Watershed Partnership and East Molokai
 
 4 Watershed Partnership in 1999.  Collectively, these partnerships
 
 5 involve some 260,000 acres of land and include an array of major
 
 6 landowners and government agencies including the United States
 
 7 Fish & Wildlife Services, National Park Services, department of
 
 8 land and natural resources, department of Hawaiian home lands,
 
 9 county boards of water supply, and numerous other agencies.
 
10      The purpose of this Act is to enable that portion of the
 
11 conveyance tax revenues that is deposited into the natural area
 
12 reserve fund to fund watershed management projects.  Since the
 
13 natural area partnership and forest stewardship programs require
 
14 the dedication of private lands for conservation as well as
 
15 private matching funds, it is the intent of this Act that in any
 
16 given fiscal year that the funding needs of these programs be met
 
17 prior to funding watershed management projects.  The legislature
 
18 finds that this Act is consistent with the original purpose and
 
19 intent of Act 195, Session Laws of Hawaii 1993, that sought to
 
20 enhance private sector participation in the protection and
 
21 management of conservation lands.
 
22      SECTION 2.  Section 247-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
23 amended to read as follows:
 

 
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 1      "247-7 Disposition of taxes.  All taxes collected under
 
 2 this chapter shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit
 
 3 of the general fund of the State, to be used and expended for the
 
 4 purposes for which the general fund was created and exists by
 
 5 law; provided that of the taxes collected each fiscal year,
 
 6 twelve and one-half per cent shall be paid into the rental
 
 7 housing trust fund established by section 201G-432 and twenty-
 
 8 five per cent shall be paid into the natural area reserve fund
 
 9 established by section 195-9; provided that the funds paid into
 
10 the natural area reserve fund shall be annually disbursed [to the
 
11 natural area partnership and forest stewardship programs] by the
 
12 department of land and natural resources after joint consultation
 
13 with the forest stewardship committee and the natural area
 
14 reserves system commission[.] in the following priority:
 
15      (1)  To natural area partnership and forest stewardship
 
16           programs; and
 
17      (2)  Projects undertaken in accordance with watershed
 
18           management plans pursuant to section 171-58 or
 
19           watershed management plans negotiated with private
 
20           landowners."
 
21      SECTION 3.  Section 247-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
22 amended to read as follows:
 
23      "247-7 Disposition of taxes.  All taxes collected under
 

 
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 1 this chapter shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit
 
 2 of the general fund of the State, to be used and expended for the
 
 3 purposes for which the general fund was created and exists by
 
 4 law; provided that of the taxes collected each fiscal year,
 
 5 twenty-five per cent shall be paid into the rental housing trust
 
 6 fund established by section 201G-432 and twenty-five per cent
 
 7 shall be paid into the natural area reserve fund established by
 
 8 section 195-9; provided that the funds paid into the natural area
 
 9 reserve fund shall be annually disbursed [to the natural area
 
10 partnership and forest stewardship programs] by the department of
 
11 land and natural resources after joint consultation with the
 
12 forest stewardship committee and the natural area reserves system
 
13 commission[.] in the following priority:
 
14      (1)  To natural area partnership and forest stewardship
 
15           programs; and
 
16      (2)  Projects undertaken in accordance with watershed
 
17           management plans pursuant to section 171-58 or
 
18           watershed management plans negotiated with private
 
19           landowners."
 
20      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
21 New statutory material is underscored.
 
22      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval;
 
23 provided that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2001.