STAND. COM. REP. NO.824-02
RE: S.B. No. 2885
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 2885, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to provide that a wireless telecommunications provider may reasonably segregate taxable income according to whether the income is subject to:
(1) The general excise tax under chapter 237, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS);
(2) The public service company tax under chapter 239, HRS; or
(3) A specific provision of either chapter 237 or 239, HRS,
so long as the segregation method does not conflict with rules adopted by the Department of Taxation (DOTAX).
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by AT&T, Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless, and Oceanic Communications. Verizon Hawaii testified in support of the intent of this bill. DOTAX and the Tax Foundation of Hawaii provided comments.
Your Committee finds that the telecommunications industry is rapidly changing and that the quickly converging technology is erasing historical distinctions between cable television, the telephone, and the Internet. The metamorphosis of the industry has caused once separate bills for different types of telecommunications services to be bundled and billed together under a single package. Telecommunications service providers bundle interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services and charge one rate, while these types of services are subject to different taxes. This has caused uncertainty in the application of existing state and local taxing schemes.
Your Committee concludes that telecommunications service providers should be allowed to reasonably segregate taxable income. This will reduce regulatory burdens on providers and allow accurate taxation without changing a provider's tax obligations.
However, to address concerns raised by DOTAX, your Committee has amended this measure:
(1) To assure providers that DOTAX will not apply rules retroactively to invalidate a provider's segregation method, by clarifying that segregation must be in conformance with rules subsequently adopted by DOTAX; and
(2) By changing the effective date from July 1, 2050, to July 1, 2002.
Technical, nonsubstantive amendments have also been made for clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2885, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2885, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce,
KENNETH T. HIRAKI, Chair