STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1217
RE: H.B. No. 908
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 908, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE LAND CONSERVATION FUND,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend the maximum amount of conveyance tax revenues allocated to the Land Conservation Fund.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Kua ‘Āina Ulu ‘Auamo, The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawai‘i Association of REALTORS.
Your Committee finds that despite regulations on land use and development in Hawaii, lands that hold important natural or cultural resources are often unprotected, inaccessible, or threatened with damage and destruction. The Land Conservation Fund was established in 1973 for the purpose of funding the protection of such lands, through the provision of grants to government agencies and community organizations to purchase and protect lands that shelter unique, threatened, and endangered resources. Your Committee finds that the current maximum amount of conveyance tax revenues allocated to the Land Use Conservation Fund -- which is ten percent of all conveyance taxes collected for the fiscal year or $5,100,000, whichever is less –- does not provide the sufficient buying power in today's real estate market to carry out the purposes of the Fund. Therefore, this measure increases the maximum amount of conveyance tax revenues allocated to the Land Conservation Fund to help ensure that adequate funding is available to meet the cost of acquiring land for public and ecological benefit.
Your Committee has amended this measure by specifying the maximum amount of conveyance tax revenues allocated to the Land Use Conservation Fund to be ten percent of all conveyance taxes collected for the fiscal year or $9,800,000, whichever is less.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 908, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 908, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair