Hawaii HB 444 - An Act Relating to Beach Protection: Transient Accommodations Tax; Special Land and Development Fun; Appropriation”

Hawaii HB 444, passed June 16, 2015, authorizes the use of transient accommodations tax revenues for a beach restoration and conservation special fund. The bill was enacted to effectively develop and implement plans to slow the degradation of Hawaii’s beaches; as well as to restore beaches through the coordination of activities involving the counties and the formation of public-private partnerships. The legislation expands the uses of the beach restoration fund to allow the Department of Land and Natural Resources to include studies about the effect of sea level rise when developing beach conservation plans. 

The bill states: "The department may also institute other studies as necessary to support the development of beach restoration projects or beach conservation plans that involve more than the nourishment of beaches with sand, including:

  1. The development of socioeconomic profiles;
  2. Environmental studies pertaining to sand source analysis, and ecological effects of beach restoration;
  3. Cost-benefit analysis for project viability;
  4. The effect of sea level rise on beaches; and
  5. The coastal engineering studies including resource assessment, studies of beach dynamics, land use plans, special management area plans, zoning ordinances, and other laws."

Permits proceeds from the lease of public lands for an existing shoreline structure, matching funds to carry out a beach restoration and conservation plans, from private individuals or organizations, and transient accommodations tax revenues are to be deposited into the beach restoration and conservation special fund. 

HB 444 allocates $3,000,000 of transient accommodations tax revenues to the special land and development fund to be expended by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, under a mutual agreement.  Beginning July 1, 2015, an annual amount of $3,000,000 of transient accommodations tax revenues will be allocated to the beach restoration and conservation special fund, and requires the fund to maintain a balance of $7,000,000 once that balance is achieved.

According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 13 miles of Hawaii beaches have been lost to erosion in the past century, with chronic erosion affecting 70 percent of beaches on Oahu, Kauai and Maui.    

 

Publication Date: July 1, 2015

Related Organizations:

  • State of Hawaii
  • Hawaii Land and Natural Resources Department

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  • Funding program
  • Laws

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