STAND. COM. REP. NO. 673
RE: S.B. No. 304
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 304, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VISITOR IMPACT FEES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support the preservation and resiliency of Hawaii's natural resources.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Establishes a visitor impact fee program within the Department of Land and Natural Resources, through which visitors will be charged a fee for a license to visit state parks, forests, hiking trails, and other state natural areas; and
(2) Establishes and appropriates moneys into and out of the visitor impact fee special fund.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Office of the Governor, Kauai Climate Action Coalition, Wild Kids, Hawaii Green Fee, Surfrider Maui Chapter, Surfrider Foundation Hawaii Region, Hui Makaainana o Makana, Kupu, Resources Legacy Fund, Imua Alliance, The Nature Conservancy Hawaii, Climate Protectors Hawaii, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, Malama Learning Center, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, The Trust for Public Land, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Hui o Ho`ohonua, and more than thirty individuals.
Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from two individuals.
Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tax Foundation of Hawaii, Maui Ocean Center, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Kauai Farm Planning, and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that there is an immediate need for additional resources to protect, restore, sustain, manage, and conserve the State's natural resources in response to escalating visitor impacts. Your Committee further finds that collecting a visitor impact fee has been suggested by the Hawaii Tourism Authority as a potential means to obtain these critical resources.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the amounts appropriated into and out of the visitor impact fee special fund to unspecified sums;
(2) Correcting a cross-reference;
(3) Clarifying that certain administrative rules shall be adopted pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(4) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 304, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 304, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair