Report Title:

Land Conservation Fund

 

Description:

Increases the percentage of conveyance taxes to be deposited into the Land Conservation Fund from 10 to 20 percent.

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

974

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

relating to land conservation.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. Recognizing the value of Hawaii's natural resources to its economy, culture, and quality of life, the legislature passed Act 156, Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, to preserve, protect, and enhance the state's land, coastal areas, and natural resources, and provide a permanent adequate funding source for that purpose. Through the legacy lands program established in Act 156, to date, over two thousand five hundred acres of land have been acquired across five islands to protect lands having natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, or historic value to the state. The different types of lands acquired have been diverse and range from native forest and habitat and agricultural lands to coastal bays and cave tunnels. While the program has been successful, many threatened resources and habitats could not be acquired due to a lack of sufficient funding. The legislature finds that it is in the best interests of the people of Hawaii to continue to ensure adequate funding for this program.

The purpose of this Act is to increase the percentage of conveyance taxes to be deposited into the land conservation fund from ten to twenty per cent.

SECTION 2. Section 173A-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Fund" means the land conservation fund."

SECTION 3. Section 173A-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) [A] The land conservation fund[, hereinafter called "fund",] is hereby established."

2. By amending subsection (d) to read:

"(d) [Ten] Twenty per cent of all taxes imposed and collected by section 247-1 shall be deposited in or credited to the fund every year."

3. By amending subsection (h) to read:

"(h) The fund shall be used for:

(1) The acquisition of interests or rights in land having value as a resource to the State, whether in fee title or through the establishment of permanent conservation easements under chapter 198 or agricultural easements;

(2) The payment of any debt service on state financial instruments relating to the acquisition of interests or rights in land having value as a resource to the State;

(3) Annual administration costs for the fund, not to exceed five per cent of annual fund revenues of the previous year[; and]

(4) Costs related to the operation, maintenance, and management of lands acquired by way of [this] the fund that are necessary to protect, maintain, or restore resources at risk on these lands, or that provide for greater public access and enjoyment of these lands; provided that the costs related to the operation, maintenance, and management of lands acquired by way of [this] the fund do not exceed five per cent of annual fund revenues of the previous year."

SECTION 4. Section 247-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"247-7 Disposition of taxes. All taxes collected under this chapter shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general fund of the State, to be used and expended for the purposes for which the general fund was created and exists by law; provided that of the taxes collected each fiscal year:

(1) [Ten] Twenty per cent shall be paid into the land conservation fund established pursuant to section 173A-5;

(2) Thirty per cent shall be paid into the rental housing trust fund established by section 201H-202; and

(3) Twenty-five per cent shall be paid into the natural area reserve fund established by section 195-9; provided that the funds paid into the natural area reserve fund shall be annually disbursed by the department of land and natural resources in the following priority:

(A) To natural area partnership and forest stewardship programs after joint consultation with the forest stewardship committee and the natural area reserves system commission;

(B) Projects undertaken in accordance with watershed management plans pursuant to section 171-58 or watershed management plans negotiated with private landowners, and management of the natural area reserves system pursuant to section 195-3; and

(C) The youth conservation corps established under chapter 193."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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