Tax Laws; 25-Year Sunset

Proposes an amendment to article III of the Hawaii constitution
to provide that any tax law, including any statutory and
constitutional provision proposed by legislative enactment, shall
be automatically repealed when that law is 25-years old or older
dating from its enactment or latest amendment.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that laws that impose new
 2 forms of taxation have a negative impact on both individuals and
 3 small businesses in Hawaii, discourage new businesses from
 4 opening new facilities and existing businesses from expanding
 5 their operations in the State, and serve to dampen the State's
 6 uncertain economic future.  Accordingly, the purpose of this Act
 7 is to amend article III of the Hawaii constitution to provide for
 8 the sunset of all laws that impose any form of taxation enacted
 9 by the legislature on the twenty-fifth year after their enactment
10 or latest amendment.
11      SECTION 2.  Article III of the Constitution of the State of
12 Hawaii is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately
13 designated and to read as follows:
15      Section    .  (a)  Any statutory tax law, or any
16 constitutional tax law proposed by legislative enactment, shall
17 be repealed automatically twenty-five-years after its enactment
18 or most recent amendment; provided that:
19      (1)  No automatic repeal shall be removed, except during a

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 1           legislative session through the enactment of a separate
 2           bill setting forth the reasons why the repeal should
 3           not be removed, which shall be passed by a three-
 4           fourths vote of the members to which each house of the
 5           legislature is entitled; and
 6      (2)  Any taxpayer in this State has standing to file a
 7           declaratory judgment action against the legislature in
 8           the circuit court of the circuit of which that taxpayer
 9           is a resident to establish that a law enacted by the
10           legislature is or is not a tax law for purposes of this
11           section.  The circuit court shall hear and determine
12           the question without delay.  The findings and
13           determinations of the circuit court in the action shall
14           be conclusive.
15      (b)  Every department or agency administering state programs
16 and every department or agency responsible for the formulation of
17 programs and the preparation of program and financial plans,
18 budgetary requests, and program performance reports, shall make
19 available to the legislature and any member or committee of
20 either house of the legislature, all documents and information as
21 may be requested to enable the legislature to determine whether a
22 tax law subject to automatic repeal under subsection (a) should
23 be continued.  The legislature may request the department of

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                                     S.B. NO.           

 1 taxation, the department of budget and finance, and any other
 2 department or agency to conduct an analysis of programs and
 3 finances to assist the legislature in determining whether any tax
 4 law should be repealed or continued.
 5      (c)  As used in this section, the term "tax law" means any
 6 measure enacted by the legislature that imposes a pecuniary
 7 burden, assessment, charge, or fee on an individual, business,
 8 corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or other
 9 private entity, or on goods, services, or property, as a means of
10 revenue enhancement."
11      SECTION 3.  The question to be printed on the ballot shall
12 be as follows:
13      "Shall all tax laws be repealed as they become twenty-five-
14      years old or older, dating from their enactment or latest
15      amendment, unless three-fourths of the members of both
16      houses of the legislature agree to remove the repeal?"
17      SECTION 4.  New constitutional material is underscored.
18      SECTION 5.  This amendment shall take effect upon compliance
19 with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of
20 Hawaii.
22                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________