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Maui County Council asks legislature to set visitor fees for the environment

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Alice Lee. PC: courtesy.

Council Chair Alice L. Lee announced today that eight proposals have been introduced as the 2022 Maui County Council Legislative Package, including legislation to establish a “green fee surcharge”—a visitor fee that would fund environmental-protection and conservation projects.

The measures in the legislative package were introduced at the start of the legislative session last month by Senate President Ronald Kouchi and Speaker of the House Scott Saiki at the council’s request, Lee said. The legislation to establish a green fee surcharge has been designated as House Bill 1439 and Senate Bill 2098.

“‘Green fees’ offer an innovative financing mechanism to better support the well-being of our residents and visitors alike by ensuring we have a clean and healthful environment,” Lee said in a press release announcement. “Protecting Maui County’s reefs, oceans, beaches and forests is vital to both the visitor industry and our residents’ quality of life.” 

The package also includes the following bills:

  • HB 1437 and SB 2096 to lower the threshold blood alcohol content for the offense of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.
  • HB 1438 and SB 2097 to establish the criminal offenses of unlawful chop shop activity in the first and second degrees.
  • HB 1440 and SB 2099 to require that the minimum wage be recalculated using the most recent self-sufficiency income standard.
  • HB 1441 and SB 2100 to authorize issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriate funds for capital improvement projects for the benefit of the County of Maui.
  • HB 1442 and SB 2101 to amend the definition of “development” in the Coastal Zone Management Act to exclude construction or reconstruction of a single-family residence that is less than 5,000 square feet of floor area.
  • HB 1443 and SB 2102 to assess a climate change mitigation impact fee on every customer who rents, leases, or utilizes a rental motor vehicle.
  • HB 1444 and SB 2103 to abolish Kalawao County and incorporate the Kalaupapa area of Molokaʻi into Maui County.

Lee said she encourages Maui County residents to join with the council in tracking state legislation and submitting testimony to state legislative committees.

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