H.B. NO.














Relating to motor vehicle weight tax REDUCTION.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Act 86 of 2011 amended section 249-33, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to effectively double the state vehicle weight tax, thus placing an undue financial burden on the citizens of Hawaii.  This remarkable increase was the result of an administration initiative to make up for the extreme reduction in general fund and capital improvement project budget allocations to the state highway fund from 2005 through 2010.  Hawaii taxpayers already suffer from a significant tax and fee burden.  The doubling of the vehicle weight tax during an economic downturn showed a lack of fiscal discipline in the State's leadership, as well as indifference to the financial burdens of the people of Hawaii.

     The legislature also finds that taxing vehicle ownership by the pound is unprecedented in the United States.  This method does not take into account the vehicle's make and model, condition or age, or depreciation.  Given this static method of taxation, increasing the per-pound tax significantly and negatively impacts citizens' financial well-being.

     The purpose of this Act is to return the vehicle weight tax cost structure to the 2010 level.

     SECTION 2.  Section 249-33, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

     "§249-33  State vehicle weight tax, exemptions.  (a)  All vehicles and motor vehicles in the State as defined in section 249-1, including antique motor vehicles, except as otherwise provided in sections 249-4, 249-5.5, 249-6, and 249-6.5, in addition to all other fees and taxes levied by this chapter, shall be subject to an annual state vehicle weight tax.  The tax shall be levied by the county director of finance at the rate of [1.75] .75 cents a pound according to the net weight of each vehicle as the "net weight" is defined in section 249-1 up to and including four thousand pounds net weight; vehicles over four thousand pounds and up to and including seven thousand pounds net weight shall be taxed at the rate of [2.00] 1.00 cent a pound; vehicles over seven thousand pounds and up to and including ten thousand pounds net weight shall be taxed at the rate of [2.25] 1.25 cents a pound; vehicles over ten thousand pounds net weight shall be taxed at a flat rate of [$300] $150.

     (b)  The tax shall become due and payable in each year together with all other taxes and fees levied by this chapter on a staggered basis as established by each county as authorized by section 286-51, the state vehicle weight tax shall likewise be staggered so that the state vehicle weight tax is collected together with the county fee.  The state vehicle weight tax shall be deemed delinquent if not paid with the county registration fee.  The tax shall be paid by the owner of each vehicle to the director of finance of the county in which the vehicle is registered and shall be collected by the director of finance of such county together with all other fees and taxes levied by this chapter from the owner of each vehicle and motor vehicle registered in the county.

     By the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which taxes under this section are collected, the director of finance of each county shall transmit the taxes collected to the state director of finance for deposit into the state highway fund.

     (c)  The exemptions provided by sections 249-3 to 249-6 shall apply to this section.  The provisions for refunds, and taxes for fraction of years for vehicles removed from or brought into the State and for junked vehicles, contained in sections 249-3 and 249-5 shall apply to the tax levied by this section.

     (d)  If it is shown to the satisfaction of the department of transportation of the State, based upon proper records and from such other evidence as the department of transportation may require, that any vehicle with a net vehicle weight of six thousand pounds or over is used for agricultural purposes the owner thereof may obtain a refund of all taxes thereon imposed by this section.  The department of transportation shall prescribe rules to administer such refunds.

     (e)  The counties shall be reimbursed the incremental costs incurred in the collection and administration of taxes and fees imposed under section 249-31 and this section; the amount of reimbursement shall be determined by the director of transportation."

     SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015.











Report Title:

Motor vehicles; Annual Vehicle Weight Tax



Reduces the annual vehicle weight tax and maintains allocation of the tax to the state highway fund.




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