HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

523

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to protection of natural resources.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. In 2015, 4,656,465 visitors to Hawaii used a hotel as their sole accommodation and 1,180,114 visitors used a condominium as their sole accommodation. The legislature finds that imposing a $20 tax on each person who uses a transient accommodation in Hawaii could generate over $100,000,000 per year, which could be used to fund hundreds of long-term and sustainable jobs for conservation and education efforts, which will protect Hawaii's lands and natural resources for generations.

The purpose of this Act is to impose a per person tax on transient accommodations for the purpose of funding conservation efforts.

SECTION 2. Section 237D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"237D-2 Imposition and rates. (a) There is levied and shall be assessed and collected each month a tax of:

(1) Five per cent for the period beginning on January 1, 1987, to June 30, 1994;

(2) Six per cent for the period beginning on July 1, 1994, to December 31, 1998;

(3) 7.25 per cent for the period beginning on January 1, 1999, to June 30, 2009;

(4) 8.25 per cent for the period beginning on July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010; and

(5) 9.25 per cent for the period beginning on July 1, 2010, and thereafter;

on the gross rental or gross rental proceeds derived from furnishing transient accommodations.

(b) Every transient accommodations broker, travel agency, and tour packager who arranges transient accommodations at noncommissioned negotiated contract rates and every operator shall [pay]:

(1) Pay to the State the tax imposed by subsection (a)[,]; and

(2) Be liable for and pay to the State the tax imposed by subsection (f),

as provided in this chapter.

(c) There is levied and shall be assessed and collected each month, on the occupant of a resort time share vacation unit, a transient accommodations tax of:

(1) 7.25 per cent on the fair market rental value until December 31, 2015;

(2) 8.25 per cent on the fair market rental value for the period beginning on January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016; and

(3) 9.25 per cent on the fair market rental value for the period beginning on January 1, 2017, and thereafter.

(d) Every plan manager shall be liable for and pay to the State the transient accommodations tax imposed by subsection (c) as provided in this chapter. Every resort time share vacation plan shall be represented by a plan manager who shall be subject to this chapter.

(e) Notwithstanding the tax rates established in subsections (a)(5) and (c)(3), the tax rates levied, assessed, and collected pursuant to subsections (a) and (c) shall be 10.25 per cent for the period beginning on January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2030; provided that:

(1) The tax revenues levied, assessed, and collected pursuant to this subsection that are in excess of the revenues realized from the levy, assessment, and collection of tax at the 9.25 per cent rate shall be deposited quarterly into the mass transit special fund established under section 248-2.7; and

(2) If a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the amount of county surcharge on state tax revenues deducted and withheld by the State, pursuant to section 248-2.6, violates statutory or constitutional law and, as a result, awards moneys to a county with a population greater than five hundred thousand, then an amount equal to the monetary award shall be deducted and withheld from the tax revenues deposited under paragraph (1) into the mass transit special fund, and those funds shall be a general fund realization of the State.

The remaining tax revenues levied, assessed, and collected at the 9.25 per cent tax rate pursuant to subsections (a) and (c) shall be distributed in accordance with section 237D-6.5(b).

(f) In addition to the tax imposed pursuant to subsection (a), there is levied and shall be assessed and collected a tax of $20 on each guest of transient accommodations beginning on July 1, 2021, and thereafter; provided that the tax imposed pursuant to this subsection shall not be imposed on the same person more than once in any one hundred eighty-day period."

SECTION 3. Section 237D-6.5, 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; 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) [$3,000,000] $103,000,000 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 beaches, important to the visitor industry;

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

(C) Operation and maintenance costs of public lands, including beaches, 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 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

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

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Tourism; Visitors; Conservation; Special Land and Development Fund; Transient Accommodations Tax; Hotel; Condominium

 

Description:

Imposes a $20 per guest tax on users of transient accommodations for the purposes of funding conservation efforts.

 

 

 

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