S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



   -A Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter:

"Department" means the department of taxation.

"Director" means the director of taxation.

"Person" has the same meaning as defined in section 237-1.

"Residential real property" means fee simple or leasehold real property on which currently is situated:

(1) From one to four dwelling units; or

(2) A residential condominium or cooperative apartment, the primary use of which is occupancy as a residence.

"Vacant" means that the residential real property is in use less than fifty days in a calendar year.

   ‑B Empty homes tax. There is hereby imposed and shall be levied, collected, and paid, an empty homes tax as hereinafter provided, on all transfers or conveyances of a vacant residential real property or any interest therein, by way of deeds, leases, subleases, assignments of lease, agreements of sale, assignments of agreement of sale, instruments, writings, and any other document, whereby any lands, interests in land, tenements, or other realty sold shall be granted, assigned, transferred, or otherwise conveyed to, or vested in, the purchaser or purchasers, lessee or lessees, sublessee or sublessees, assignee or assignees, or any other person or persons, by the person's or their direction. The tax shall be equal to five per cent of the county real property tax assessed value of the unit per year.

   -C Return and payments. On or before the twentieth day of each calendar month, every person taxable under this chapter during the preceding calendar month shall file a sworn return with the director in such form as the director shall prescribe together with a remittance for the amount of the tax required by section    ‑B. Sections 237-30 and 237-32 shall apply to returns and penalties made under this chapter to the same extent as if the sections were set forth specifically in this section.

   -D Remittances. The department shall deposit all moneys collected pursuant to this chapter into the dwelling unit revolving fund established pursuant to section 201H-191.

   -E Appeals. Any person aggrieved by any assessment of the empty homes tax for any month or any year may appeal from the assessment in the manner and within the time and in all other respects as provided in the case of income tax appeals by section 235-114.

   -F Records to be kept; examination. Every person shall keep in the English language within the State, and preserve for a period of three years, suitable records relating to the empty homes tax levied and assessed under this chapter, and such other books, records of account, and invoices as may be required by the department, and all such books, records, and invoices shall be open for examination at any time by the department or the Multistate Tax Commission pursuant to chapter 255, or the authorized representative thereof.

   -G Administration and enforcement; rules. (a) The director shall administer and enforce this chapter in respect of:

(1) The examination of books and records of taxpayers and other persons;

(2) Procedure and powers upon failure or refusal by a person to make a return or proper return; and

(3) The general administration of this chapter.

(b) All of the provisions of chapter 237 not inconsistent with this chapter and which may appropriately be applied to the taxes, persons, circumstances, and situations involved in this chapter, including (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) provisions as to penalties and interest, and provisions granting administrative powers to the department, and provisions for the assessment, levy, and collection of taxes, shall be applicable to the taxes imposed by this chapter, and to the assessment, levy, and collection thereof.

(c) The director may adopt, amend, or repeal rules under chapter 91 to carry out this chapter."

SECTION 2. Section 231-8.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) If the requirements of subsection (c) are satisfied, the department may require electronic filing of any tax return, application, report, or other document required under the provisions of title 14 administered by the department for the following taxpayers:

(1) For withholding tax filings required under chapter 235, only employers whose total tax liability under sections 235-61 and 235-62 for the calendar or fiscal year exceeds $40,000;

(2) For income tax filings required under chapter 235, only taxpayers who are subject to tax under section 235-71, 235-71.5, or 235-72;

(3) For general excise tax filings required under chapter 237, only taxpayers whose total tax liability under chapter 237 for the calendar or fiscal year exceeds $4,000;

(4) For transient accommodations tax filings required under chapter 237D, only operators and plan managers whose total tax liability under chapter 237D for the calendar or fiscal year exceeds $4,000; and

(5) For filings required under the following chapters, all taxpayers subject to tax under those chapters:

(A) 236E;

(B) 239;

(C) 241;

(D) 243;

(E) 244D;

(F) 245; [and]

(G) 251[.]; and

(H)      ."

SECTION 3. In codifying the new sections added by section 1 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2021.



Report Title:

Empty Homes Tax; Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund; Fair Market Rent



Establishes an empty homes conveyance tax against certain residential property owners who own a vacant residential unit in the State. (SD1)




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