Report Title:

Roads, Maintenance, County of Hawaii

 

Description:

Raises the state-imposed fuel tax for the county of Hawaii to pay for road identification and maintenance.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2003

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to county roads.

 

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

SECTION 1. As documented in the legislative reference bureau's 1989 study, Roads in Limbo: an Analysis of the State-County Jurisdictional Dispute, jurisdictional disputes over road ownership - and the concomitant lack of adequate ownership and repair - have plagued relations between the Territory and State and the counties. County governments began in 1905, and only eight years later, in 1913, a legislative committee declared that "[e]ver since the beginning of county government ... there has been a great deal of confusion in regard to streets, roads, etc." and it proposed a solution, transferring all jurisdiction to the county boards of supervisors to "do away with all the confusion and conflict of authority."

However, this and other attempts to solve the problem did not succeed, and for decades there was a tension between the Territory (and then State) and the counties on ownership and responsibility of roads, with many roads falling into limbo. One illustration of the problem: it was so difficult for the county of Hawaii to get information on the roads that the State alleged were the county's that, in responding to the Bureau's request for a list of disputed roads, the best information Hawaii county could supply was "1. Mana Keanukolu Road ... 2. Honolulu Landing Road ... 3. Hao Springs Road ... 4. All other State-owned Paper Roads: 100-200 miles." The situation in the county of Hawaii was even more complicated than in other counties due to its size and the propensity for roads to be created by public use (for instance, hikers creating a trail that became a lane that grew into a road) without governmental knowledge or planning.

This lack of clarity of ownership and jurisdiction (experienced in all four counties) continued until the 1990s, when the State and the counties began to come to agreement on ownership, maintenance, design, and repair on the disputed roads.

The county of Hawaii has made it a priority to inventory all of the roads under its jurisdiction to identify the roads and determine the cost of any needed improvements. The county proposes to fund this program with increases in the county-determined and state-determined fuel taxes for the county. The county-determined fuel tax can be raised by county resolution, but the state-determined fuel tax for the county is determined by the legislature.

The purpose of this Act is to assist the county of Hawaii in inventorying and maintaining roads under its jurisdiction by raising the state-determined portion of the county fuel tax to fund this program.

SECTION 2. Section 243-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) Every distributor [shall], in addition to any other taxes provided by law, shall pay a license tax to the department of taxation for each gallon of liquid fuel refined, manufactured, produced, or compounded by the distributor and sold or used by the distributor in the State or imported by the distributor, or acquired by the distributor from persons who are not licensed distributors, and sold or used by the distributor in the State. Any person who sells or uses any liquid fuel knowing that the distributor from whom it was originally purchased has not paid and is not paying the tax thereon shall pay such tax as would have applied to such sale or use by the distributor. The rates of tax hereby imposed are as follows:

(1) For each gallon of diesel oil, 1 cent;

(2) For each gallon of gasoline or other aviation fuel sold for use in or used for airplanes, 1 cent;

(3) For each gallon of liquid fuel other than fuel mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2), and other than an alternative fuel, sold or used in the city and county of Honolulu, or sold in any county for ultimate use in the city and county of Honolulu, 16 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "city and county of Honolulu fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5;

(4) For each gallon of liquid fuel other than fuel mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2), and other than an alternative fuel, sold or used in the county of Hawaii, or sold in any county for ultimate use in the county of Hawaii, [16] __ cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Hawaii fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5;

(5) For each gallon of liquid fuel other than fuel mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2), and other than an alternative fuel, sold or used in the county of Maui, or sold in any county for ultimate use in the county of Maui, 16 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Maui fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5; and

(6) For each gallon of liquid fuel other than fuel mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2), and other than an alternative fuel, sold or used in the county of Kauai, or sold in any county for ultimate use in the county of Kauai, 16 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Kauai fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5.

If it is shown to the satisfaction of the department, based upon proper records and from such other evidence as the department may require, that liquid fuel other than fuel mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2) is used for agricultural equipment that does not operate upon the public highways of the State, the user thereof may obtain a refund of all taxes thereon imposed by this section in excess of 1 cent per gallon. The department shall adopt rules to administer such refunds.

(b) Every distributor of diesel oil, in addition to the tax required by subsection (a), shall pay a license tax to the department for each gallon of such diesel oil sold or used by the distributor for operating a motor vehicle or motor vehicles upon public highways of the State. The rates of the additional tax hereby imposed are as follows:

(1) For each gallon of diesel oil sold or used in the city and county of Honolulu, or sold in any other county for ultimate use in the city and county of Honolulu, 15 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "city and county of Honolulu fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5;

(2) For each gallon of diesel oil sold or used in the county of Hawaii, or sold in any other county for ultimate use in the county of Hawaii, [15] __ cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Hawaii fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5;

(3) For each gallon of diesel oil sold or used in the county of Maui, or sold in any other county for ultimate use in the county of Maui, 15 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Maui fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5; and

(4) For each gallon of diesel oil sold or used in the county of Kauai, or sold in any other county for ultimate use in the county of Kauai, 15 cents state tax, and in addition thereto such amount, to be known as the "county of Kauai fuel tax", as shall be levied pursuant to section 243-5.

If any user of diesel oil furnishes a certificate, in such form as the department shall prescribe, to the distributor, or the distributor who uses diesel oil signs such certificate, certifying that the diesel oil is for use in operating a motor vehicle or motor vehicles in areas other than upon the public highways of the State, the tax as provided in paragraphs (1) to (4) shall not be applicable. In the event a certificate is not or cannot be furnished and the diesel oil is in fact for use for operating a motor vehicle or motor vehicles in areas other than upon public highways of the State, the user thereof may obtain a refund of all taxes thereon imposed by the foregoing paragraphs. The department shall adopt rules to administer the refunding of such taxes."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.

INTRODUCED BY:

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