News

HSAC 2018 Legislative Agenda

January 17, 2018, 11:30 AM HST
* Updated January 17, 9:31 AM
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The four counties of Kaua‘i, Maui, Hawai‘i and City & County of Honolulu, which represents the Hawai‘i State Association of Counties (HSAC), submitted its 2018 legislative package to state lawmakers this week.

HSAC members at the State Capitol. Courtesy photo.

“During each legislative session, HSAC provides a package vetted and approved by all four county councils of the state,” said HSAC president and Hawai‘i County Councilmember Dru Kanuha. “These proposed measures help maximize the effectiveness and performance of county governments to improve the quality of life of our constituents – the same residents and visitors the counties and state serve.”

An informational briefing for state legislators was held on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, at the State Capitol to discuss the organization’s legislative package.

Kanuha said HSAC will continue to advocate for a fairer share of the transient accommodations tax, also known as hotel tax, or TAT, and urge legislators to restore legal immunity for county lifeguards taken away during the last legislative session.

“HSAC hopes to achieve the following goals by working in a collaborative manner with the State Legislature this session,” Kanuha said.

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Some of HSAC’s 2018 legislative priorities include:

  1. Fairer TAT distribution between state and counties. HSAC’s bill mirrors recommendations made by the State-County Functions Working Group to the Legislature to provide a fairer 55-45% split of TAT revenue between the state and counties.
  2. Return of limited liability protection for county lifeguards. The counties seek to ensure civil liability protection for county lifeguards against frivolous lawsuits – a benefit state lifeguards currently have.
  3. Having a small percentage of the state conveyance tax revenue go to each county’s affordable housing fund to increase the supply of affordable housing units.
  4. Tax credit to install fire suppression systems in one or two-family residential units.
  5. Additional ambulance service for Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Counties.

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