THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

989

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT FEES.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's reefs, oceans, beaches, and forests provide billions of dollars in value to the economy to support the well-being of our communities and visitors. Hawaii cannot disentangle its environment from its economy. Therefore, residents and visitors understand the value and importance of Hawaii's natural resources. Hawaii's environment and culture is integral to the experiences of both residents and visitors.

The legislature also finds that although these natural resources are critical for the visitor industry and resident communities, Hawaii's total natural resources management funding constitutes a major unfunded liability that poses a significant risk to the business climate and economic resiliency of the State. The legislature further finds that the State's vital ecosystems and the resources they harbor continue to decline due to the lack of adequate investment in proven and effective conservation approaches. Data demonstrates growing concern that the lack of adequate plans to address the multitude of issues contributes to the continued decline of Hawaii's environment.

In 2019, ten million visitors enjoyed the benefits of Hawaii's ecosystems and natural environment, and the number of visitors is expected to rise in the future. Increased demand on Hawaii's natural resources requires the funding of innovative conservation plans and programs focused on reversing the decline in ecosystems and the associated risks for Hawaii's visitor industry and communities. By prioritizing the protection of Hawaii's ocean, forest, and freshwater ecosystems and following the benchmarks set forth in the Aloha+ Challenge natural resource management goals, the legislature seeks to generate and allocate specific funding for state departments and agencies to implement plans to accomplish the climate change goals of the State.

The purpose of this Act is to require commercial activities that contribute to the degradation of Hawaii's natural environment to subsidize the conservation of the State's natural resources. Specifically, this Act:

(1) Establishes environmental impacts fees for commercial ocean recreation vessels;

(2) Increases the rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax and directs moneys from the tax to the Hawaii statewide trail and access program, Na Ala Hele; and

(3) Increases the aircraft operator registration fee and directs moneys from the fee to the special land and development fund for, among other things, the protection, preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of natural resources.

SECTION 2. Chapter 200, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"200-   Commercial ocean recreation vessel environmental impact fee. (a) The department shall assess and collect each year a commercial ocean recreation vessel environmental impact fee as follows:

(1) $250 for each commercial ocean recreation vessel used or partially used during the year that falls into the over twenty-five passenger seat category;

(2) $125 for each commercial ocean recreation vessel used or partially used during the year that falls into the eight to twenty-five passenger seat category; and

(3) $75 for each commercial ocean recreation vessel used or partially used during the year that falls into the two to seven passenger seat category.

The commercial ocean recreation vessel environmental impact fee shall be levied upon the commercial ocean recreation vessel operator.

(c) Moneys collected by the department from commercial ocean recreation vessel environmental impact fees shall be deposited into the coral reef mitigation bank.

(d) For purposes of this section, "commercial ocean recreation vessel" means a vessel used in state marine waters for commercial operation of thrill craft, high speed boating, parasailing, water sledding, sailing and snorkeling tours, dive tours, glassbottom boat tours, charters, or any other similar commercial ocean recreation activity for hire."

SECTION 3. Section 171-19, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is created in the department a special fund to be designated as the "special land and development fund". Subject to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, and section 5(f) of the Admission Act of 1959, all proceeds of sale of public lands, including interest on deferred payments; all moneys collected under section 171-58 for mineral and water rights; all rents from leases, licenses, and permits derived from public lands; all moneys collected from lessees of public lands within industrial parks; all fees, fines, and other administrative charges collected under this chapter and chapter 183C; a portion of the highway fuel tax collected under chapter 243; all moneys collected by the department for the commercial use of public trails and trail accesses under the jurisdiction of the department; transient accommodations tax revenues collected pursuant to section 237D-6.5(b)(5); a portion of rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax collected pursuant to section 251-5; a portion of aircraft annual registration fees collected pursuant to section 261-15.6; and private contributions for the management, maintenance, and development of trails and accesses shall be set apart in the fund and shall be used only as authorized by the legislature for the following purposes:

(1) To reimburse the general fund of the State for advances made that are required to be reimbursed from the proceeds derived from sales, leases, licenses, or permits of public lands;

(2) For the planning, development, management, operations, or maintenance of all lands and improvements under the control and management of the board pursuant to title 12, including but not limited to permanent or temporary staff positions who may be appointed without regard to chapter 76; provided that transient accommodations tax revenues allocated to the fund shall be expended as provided in section 237D-6.5(b)(5);

(3) To repurchase any land, including improvements, in the exercise by the board of any right of repurchase specifically reserved in any patent, deed, lease, or other documents or as provided by law;

(4) For the payment of all appraisal fees; provided that all fees reimbursed to the board shall be deposited in the fund;

(5) For the payment of publication notices as required under this chapter; provided that all or a portion of the expenditures may be charged to the purchaser or lessee of public lands or any interest therein under rules adopted by the board;

(6) For the management, maintenance, and development of trails and trail accesses under the jurisdiction of the department;

(7) For the payment to private land developers who have contracted with the board for development of public lands under section 171-60;

(8) For the payment of debt service on revenue bonds issued by the department, and the establishment of debt service and other reserves deemed necessary by the board;

(9) To reimburse the general fund for debt service on general obligation bonds issued to finance departmental projects, where the bonds are designated to be reimbursed from the special land and development fund;

(10) For the protection, planning, management, and regulation of water resources under chapter 174C; and

(11) For other purposes of this chapter."

SECTION 4. Section 198D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (b) to read:

"(b) The trail and access program shall use funding for the management, maintenance, and development of trails and trail accesses under the jurisdiction of the department from the following sources:

(1) A portion of the highway fuel taxes collected under chapter 243;

(2) Federal government grants;

(3) Private contributions;

(4) Fees, established pursuant to administrative rules and charged by the department for the commercial and other use of trails and trail accesses under the jurisdiction of the department; [and]

(5) Transient accommodations tax revenues pursuant to section 237D-6.5[.]; and

(6) Rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax remittances pursuant to 251-5."

2. By amending subsection (d) to read:

"(d) The moneys specified in subsection (b)(1), (3), (4), [and] (5), and (6) shall be deposited in the special land and development fund under section 171-19 for the management, maintenance, and development of trails and trail accesses under the jurisdiction of the department; provided that the moneys specified in subsection (b)(5) and (6) shall be expended for the management, maintenance, and development of trails and access areas frequented by visitors in response to a master plan developed in coordination with the Hawaii tourism authority."

SECTION 5. Section 251-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"251-2 Rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax. (a) There is levied and shall be assessed and collected each month a rental motor vehicle surcharge tax of [$5] $7 a day, or any portion of a day that a rental motor vehicle is rented or leased. The rental motor vehicle surcharge tax shall be levied upon the lessor; provided that the tax shall not be levied on the lessor if:

(1) The lessor is renting the vehicle to replace a vehicle of the lessee that is being repaired; and

(2) A record of the repair order for the vehicle is retained either by the lessor for two years for verification purposes or by a motor vehicle repair dealer for two years as provided in section 437B-16.

In addition to the requirements imposed by section 251-4, a lessor shall disclose, to the department, the portion of the remittance attributed to the county in which the motor vehicle was operated under rental or lease.

(b) There is levied and shall be assessed and collected each month a tour vehicle surcharge tax of:

(1) [$66] $85 for each tour vehicle used or partially used during the month that falls into the over twenty-five passenger seat category; and

(2) [$16] $25 for each tour vehicle used or partially used during the month that falls into the eight to twenty-five passenger seat category.

The tour vehicle surcharge tax shall be levied upon the tour vehicle operator."

SECTION 6. Section 251-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"251-5 Remittances. All remittances of surcharge taxes imposed under this chapter shall be made by cash, bank draft, cashier's check, money order, or certificate of deposit to the office of the taxation district to which the return was transmitted. The department shall deposit the moneys into the state treasury as follows:

(1) Sixty per cent to the credit of the state highway fund[.]; and

(2) Forty per cent to the credit of 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 beaches, important to the visitor industry; and

(B) Operation and maintenance costs of public lands, including beaches, connected with enhancing the visitor experience."

SECTION 7. Section 261-15.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]261-15.6[]] Annual registration fee. The department shall assess and collect an annual registration fee of [$10] $500 from each operator of aircraft required to be registered under section 261-15.5[.]; provided that ninety per cent of the registration fee shall be allocated to the special land and development fund established under section 171-19; provided further that the allocation shall be expended in accordance with the Hawaii tourism authority strategic plan for:

(1) The protection, preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of natural resources, including beaches, important to the visitor industry;

(2) Planning, construction, and repair of facilities; and

(3) Operation and maintenance costs of public lands, including beaches, connected with enhancing the visitor experience."

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2022.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Environmental Impact Fees; Commercial Ocean Recreation Vessels; Rental Motor Vehicle and Tow Vehicle Surcharge Tax; Aircraft Registration Fee

 

Description:

Establishes environmental impacts fees for commercial ocean recreation vessels. Increases the rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax and directs moneys from the tax to the Hawaii statewide trail and access program, Na Ala Hele. Increases the aircraft operator registration fee and directs moneys from the fee to the special land and development fund for, among other things, the protection, preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of natural resources.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.