STAND. COM. REP. NO. 337

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    S.B. No. 284

       S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committees on Tourism and International Affairs and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 284 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to allocate transient accommodations tax revenues to the special land and development fund to be expended in accordance with the long-range strategic plan for tourism developed by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 

     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, and Nature Conservancy.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from the State-County Functions Working Group and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

 

     Your Committees find that Act 161, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, in part, allocated $3,000,000 of transient accommodations tax revenues subject to the mutual agreement of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority in accordance with the Hawaii Tourism Authority strategic plan.  Act 161 specified an amount "of the excess revenue deposited into the general fund" but did not provide authority to expend the funds; therefore, to date, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has not received any of the funding intended for it by Act 161 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year or the current fiscal year.  Your Committees find that this measure solves the issue of authority to expend the funds.

 

     Your Committees also find that, as recommended in testimony by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the language of this measure should be further clarified and an effective date of upon approval will allow for access to funds intended to be used during the current fiscal year.

 

     Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

     (1)  Specifying that the allocation of transient accommodations tax revenues to the special land and development fund is to be expended pursuant to title 12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and in accordance with the long-range strategic plan of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and removing the requirement that the expenditure be in accordance with a mutual agreement of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority;

 

     (2)  Amending the language authorizing use of the transient accommodations tax revenues allocated to the special land and development fund for certain operation and maintenance costs of public lands to instead be for certain operation and maintenance costs of state parks, beaches, and trails, and costs associated with improving enforcement of ancillary regulations;

     (3)  Changing the effective date to be upon approval; and

     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Tourism and International Affairs and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 284, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 284, 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 International Affairs and Water and Land,

 

____________________________

LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair

 

____________________________

GILBERT KAHELE, Chair