Report Title:

State Parks Special Fund; Income Tax Check-off

Description:

Provides an income tax check-off to fund environmental educational programs provided by non-profit organizations offering services on state park lands.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2564

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the environment.

 

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

SECTION 1. Hawaii's lush natural areas are among the major recreational attractions for residents and visitors alike - and some of the most heavily used and subject to degradation. Facilities designed and built decades ago to handle a few dozen visitors are now overwhelmed by thousands of people every day. Roads and trails through natural areas are crumbling or eroding, park sewage systems are inadequate, with overloaded water supplies and irrigation systems contributing to the demise of fragile vegetation. Basic park amenities such as picnic tables and shelters are in various states of disrepair. Work crews have little time for preventative maintenance in the struggle to keep the failing facilities on line.

The department of land and natural resources' na ala hele program, for example, manages nearly three hundred miles of hiking and multiple use trails statewide. A study in 2000 of fourteen trails located in state parks and under the na ala hele program, conducted by students from the University of Hawaii's department of urban and regional planning, determined that seventy-eight per cent of over two thousand individuals interviewed were from out of state. In addition, na ala hele manages and regulates the commercial trail tour activities on select trails statewide. Ten years ago there were virtually no trail tours in existence, now there is a growing demand for trail activity from both visitors and Hawaii residents.

Act 250, Session Laws of Hawaii 2002, designated a portion of the transient accommodations tax for the management, maintenance, and development of trails and access areas frequented by visitors, through the coordinated efforts of the department of land and natural resources and the Hawaii tourism authority. While this is a significant step forward in maintaining Hawaii's natural areas, it is limited to improving and protecting those regions of the natural environment frequented by visitors to the islands. It does not provide for investments in the future - land acquisitions, new programs, and environmental education.

The purpose of this Act is to provide an income tax check-off to fund environmental educational programs provided by non-profit organizations offering services on state park lands.

SECTION 2. Section 184-3.4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"184-3.4 State parks special fund. (a) There is established within the state treasury a fund to be known as the state parks special fund, into which shall be deposited:

(1) All proceeds collected by the state parks programs involving park user fees, any leases or concession agreements, the sale of any article purchased from the department to benefit the state parks programs, or any gifts or contributions; provided that proceeds derived from the operation of Iolani Palace shall be used to supplement its educational and interpretive programs; [and]

(2) Transient accommodations tax revenues pursuant to section 237D-6.5(b)(2); provided that these moneys shall be expended in response to a master plan developed in coordination with the Hawaii tourism authority[.]; and

(3) All moneys collected pursuant to section 235-102.5(d).

(b) The department shall expend the moneys from the state parks special fund for the following purposes:

(1) Permanent and temporary staff positions;

(2) Planning and development of state parks programs, including the aina hoomalu state parks program;

(3) Construction, repairs, replacement, additions, and extensions of state parks facilities;

(4) Environmental educational programs provided by non-profit organizations offering services on state park lands in more than one state park facility;

[(4)](5) Operation and maintenance costs of state parks and state parks programs; and

[(5)](6) Administrative costs of the division of state parks."

SECTION 3. Section 235-102.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"235-102.5 Income check-off authorized. (a) Any individual whose state income tax liability for any taxable year is $2 or more may designate $2 of the liability to be paid over to the Hawaii election campaign fund, any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, when submitting a state income tax return to the department of taxation. In the case of a joint return of a husband and wife having a state income tax liability of $4 or more, each spouse may designate that $2 be paid to the fund. The director of taxation shall revise the individual state income tax form to allow the designation of contributions to the fund on the face of the tax return and immediately above the signature lines. An explanation shall be included which clearly states that the check-off does not constitute an additional tax liability. If no designation was made on the original tax return when filed, a designation may be made by the individual on an amended return filed within twenty months and ten days after the due date for the original return for such taxable year. A designation once made whether by an original or amended return may not be revoked.

(b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any individual whose state income tax refund for any taxable year is $2 or more may designate $2 of the refund to be deposited into the school-level minor repairs and maintenance special fund established by section 302A-1504.5, when submitting a state income tax return to the department of taxation. In the case of a joint return of a husband and wife having a state income tax refund of $4 or more, each spouse may designate that $2 be deposited into the special fund. The director of taxation shall revise the individual state income tax return form to allow the designation of contributions to the special fund on the face of the tax return and immediately above the signature lines. If no designation was made on the original tax return when filed, a designation may be made by the individual on an amended return filed within twenty months and ten days after the due date for the original return for such taxable year. A designation once made, whether by an original or amended return, may not be revoked.

(c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any individual whose state income tax refund for any taxable year is $2 or more may designate $2 of the refund to be paid over to the libraries special fund established by section 312-3.6, when submitting a state income tax return to the department of taxation. In the case of a joint return of a husband and wife having a state income tax refund of $4 or more, each spouse may designate that $2 be deposited into the special fund. The director of taxation shall revise the individual state income tax form to allow the designation of contributions to the fund on the face of the tax return and immediately above the signature lines. If no designation was made on the original tax return when filed, a designation may be made by the individual on an amended return filed within twenty months and ten days after the due date for the original return for such taxable year. A designation once made, whether by an original or amended return, may not be revoked.

(d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any individual whose state income tax refund for any taxable year is $2 or more may designate $2 of the refund to be deposited into the state parks special fund established by section 184-3.4, when submitting a state income tax return to the department of taxation. In the case of a joint return of a husband and wife having a state income tax refund of $4 or more, each spouse may designated that $2 be deposited into the state park special fund. The director of taxation shall revise the individual state income tax return form to allow the designation of contributions to the state park special fund on the face of the tax return and immediately above the signature lines. If no designation was made on the original tax return when filed, a designation may be made by an individual on an amended returned filed within twenty months and ten days after the due date for the original return for the taxable year. A designation once made, whether by an original or amended return shall not be revoked."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval, and apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2003.

INTRODUCED BY:

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