STAND. COM. REP. NO.3045
RE: H.B. No. 2251
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs and Economic Development and Technology, to which was referred H.B. No. 2251, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TOURISM,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure as received is to repeal redundant and obsolete statutes relating to tourism.
Prior to the hearing, your Committees circulated a proposed S.D. 1, which deleted the provisions of the bill and replaced them with the language in S.B. No. 2350, S.D. 2, to:
(1) Cap transient accommodations tax (TAT) revenues deposited to the tourism special fund at $50,000,000 annually;
(2) Require the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) to direct at least $1,000,000 of that amount to the support of natural resources;
(3) Deposit ninety per cent of any TAT revenues over $50,000,000 in the state parks special fund and ten per cent in the Hawaii statewide trail and access program, up to $2,000,000 annually and require expenditures in response to master plan developed with HTA; and
(4) Designate any excess over $52,000,000 to the general fund.
Testimony in support of the proposed measure was received from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Sierra Club Hawai`i Chapter, and Trust for Public Land. The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Hotel Association, Maui Hotel Association, Hawaii Activities and Tour Association, Waikiki Improvement Association, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Hawaii Business Roundtable, Paradise Cruise Ltd., and Poipu Beach Resort Association testified in opposition.
Your Committees find that Hawaii's natural resources are one of the most important factors that draw visitors to the islands, and that some portion of the moneys to maintain these resources should come from the TAT that is paid primarily by visitors.
Your Committees understand the concerns raised regarding the proposed cap on the amount authorized for the HTA, but note that all state programs are anticipating budget cuts in the coming year, and that many vital services statewide will be curtailed or cut completely as a result.
Your Committees have expressed some concerns regarding the lack of priorities planning on the part of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) for maintenance of Hawaii's parks and trails. Your Committees wish to emphasize that the expenditure of the TAT moneys by DLNR shall be in response to a master plan developed in coordination with the HTA, and urge the two agencies to complete this process as quickly as possible.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs and Economic Development and Technology that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2251, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2251, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs and Economic Development and Technology,
ROD TAM, Chair
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair