HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii has long been a top destination for vacationers. In 2016, the State of Hawaii saw 8,821,802 visitors, and that number was projected to increase to 9,562,109 in 2018 and 9,847,610 in 2020. Only the global pandemic of 2020 reduced the number of visitors to Hawaii. The historically large number of visitors has placed increased strain on state facilities, such as parks, trails, small boat harbor facilities, and natural areas that are operated and maintained by the department of land and natural resources.
The legislature believes that more investment is needed in Hawaii's natural resources and environment, and the present downturn in the number of visitors provides an opportunity for the State, counties, local businesses, and the various island communities to re-examine the scope and structure of Hawaii’s tourism industry and the allocation of public funding from the visitor industry.
The purpose of this Act is to increase the allocation of funds from transient accommodations tax revenue to the special land and development fund, in order to improve certain state facilities.
SECTION 2. Section 237D-8.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) Except for the revenues collected pursuant to section 237D-2(e), revenues collected under this chapter shall be distributed in the following priority, with the excess revenues to be deposited into the general fund:
(1) $1,500,000 shall be allocated to the Turtle Bay conservation easement special fund beginning July 1, 2015, for the reimbursement to the state general fund of debt service on reimbursable general obligation bonds, including ongoing expenses related to the issuance of the bonds, the proceeds of which were used to acquire the conservation easement and other real property interests in Turtle Bay, Oahu, for the protection, preservation, and enhancement of natural resources important to the State, until the bonds are fully amortized;
(2) $16,500,000 shall be allocated to the convention center enterprise special fund established under section 201B-8;
(3) $79,000,000 shall be allocated to the tourism special fund established under section 201B-11; provided that:
(A) Beginning on July 1, 2012, and ending on June 30, 2015, $2,000,000 shall be expended from the tourism special fund for development and implementation of initiatives to take advantage of expanded visa programs and increased travel opportunities for international visitors to Hawaii;
(B) Of the $79,000,000 allocated:
(i) $1,000,000 shall be allocated for the operation of a Hawaiian center and the museum of Hawaiian music and dance at the Hawaii convention center; and
(ii) 0.5 per cent of the $79,000,000 shall be transferred to a sub-account in the tourism special fund to provide funding for a safety and security budget, in accordance with the Hawaii tourism strategic plan 2005-2015; and
(C) Of the revenues remaining in the tourism special fund after revenues have been deposited as provided in this paragraph and except for any sum authorized by the legislature for expenditure from revenues subject to this paragraph, beginning July 1, 2007, funds shall be deposited into the tourism emergency special fund, established in section 201B-10, in a manner sufficient to maintain a fund balance of $5,000,000 in the tourism emergency special fund;
(4) $103,000,000 shall be allocated as follows: Kauai county shall receive 14.5 per cent, Hawaii county shall receive 18.6 per cent, city and county of Honolulu shall receive 44.1 per cent, and Maui county shall receive 22.8 per cent; provided that commencing with fiscal year 2018-2019, a sum that represents the difference between a county public employer's annual required contribution for the separate trust fund established under section 87A-42 and the amount of the county public employer's contributions into that trust fund shall be retained by the state director of finance and deposited to the credit of the county public employer's annual required contribution into that trust fund in each fiscal year, as provided in section 87A-42, if the respective county fails to remit the total amount of the county's required annual contributions, as required under section 87A-43; and
$5,000,000 shall be allocated to the special land and development fund
established under section 171-19; provided that the allocation shall be
expended in accordance with the Hawaii tourism authority strategic plan for:
(A) The protection, preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of natural resources, including but not limited to state parks, beaches, and trails important to the visitor industry;
(B) Planning, construction, and repair of facilities; and
(C) Operation [
maintenance, and enforcement costs of public lands, including but not
limited to state parks, beaches, and trails connected with enhancing the visitor experience.
All transient accommodations taxes shall be paid into the state treasury each month within ten days after collection and shall be kept by the state director of finance in special accounts for distribution as provided in this subsection.
As used in this subsection, "fiscal year" means the twelve-month period beginning on July 1 of a calendar year and ending on June 30 of the following calendar year."
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2050.
Transient Accommodations Tax Revenue; Special Land and Development Fund
Increases the allocation of funds from transient accommodations tax revenue to the special land and development fund to improve certain state resources and services. Effective 1/1/2050. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.