DEFINITIONS; ISSUANCE OF INDEBTEDNESS

 

Section 12. For the purposes of this article:

1. The term "bonds" shall include bonds, notes and other instruments of indebtedness.

2. The term "general obligation bonds" means all bonds for the payment of the principal and interest of which the full faith and credit of the State or a political subdivision are pledged and, unless otherwise indicated, includes reimbursable general obligation bonds.

3. The term "net revenues" or "net user tax receipts" means the revenues or receipts derived from:

a. A public undertaking, improvement or system remaining after the costs of operation, maintenance and repair of the public undertaking, improvement or system, and the required payments of the principal of and interest on all revenue bonds issued therefor, have been made; or

b. Any payments or return on security under a loan program or a loan thereunder, after the costs of operation and administration of the loan program, and the required payments of the principal of and interest on all revenue bonds issued therefor, have been made.

4. The term "dam and reservoir owner" means any person who has a right to, title to, or an interest in, a dam, a reservoir, or the property upon which a dam, a reservoir, or appurtenant work is located or proposed to be located.

5. The term "person" means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative or other legal entity, governmental body or agency, board, bureau or other instrumentality thereof, or any combination of the foregoing.

6. The term "rates, rentals and charges" means all revenues and other moneys derived from the operation or lease of a public undertaking, improvement or system, or derived from any payments or return on security under a loan program or a loan thereunder; provided that insurance premium payments, assessments and surcharges, shall constitute rates, rentals and charges of a state property insurance program.

7. The term "reimbursable general obligation bonds" means general obligation bonds issued for a public undertaking, improvement or system from which revenues, or user taxes, or a combination of both, may be derived for the payment of the principal and interest as reimbursement to the general fund and for which reimbursement is required by law, and, in the case of general obligation bonds issued by the State for a political subdivision, general obligation bonds for which the payment of the principal and interest as reimbursement to the general fund is required by law to be made from the revenue of the political subdivision.

8. The term "revenue bonds" means all bonds payable from the revenues, or user taxes, or any combination of both, of a public undertaking, improvement, system or loan program and any loan made thereunder and secured as may be provided by law, including a loan program to provide loans to a state property insurance program providing hurricane insurance coverage to the general public.

9. The term "special purpose revenue bonds" means all bonds payable from rental or other payments made to an issuer by a person pursuant to contract and secured as may be provided by law.

10. The term "user tax" means a tax on goods or services or on the consumption thereof, the receipts of which are substantially derived from the consumption, use or sale of goods and services in the utilization of the functions or services furnished by a public undertaking, improvement or system; provided that mortgage recording taxes shall constitute user taxes of a state property insurance program.

The legislature, by a majority vote of the members to which each house is entitled, shall authorize the issuance of all general obligation bonds, bonds issued under special improvement statutes and revenue bonds issued by or on behalf of the State and shall prescribe by general law the manner and procedure for such issuance. The legislature by general law shall authorize political subdivisions to issue general obligation bonds, bonds issued under special improvement statutes and revenue bonds and shall prescribe the manner and procedure for such issuance. All such bonds issued by or on behalf of a political subdivision shall be authorized by the governing body of such political subdivision.

Special purpose revenue bonds shall only be authorized or issued to finance facilities of or for, or to loan the proceeds of such bonds to assist:

1. Manufacturing, processing or industrial enterprises;

2. Utilities serving the general public;

3. Health care facilities provided to the general public by not-for-profit corporations;

4. Early childhood education and care facilities provided to the general public by not-for-profit corporations;

5. Low and moderate income government housing programs;

6. Not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities;

7. Agricultural enterprises; or

8. Dam and reservoir owners; provided that the bonds are issued for and the proceeds are used to offer loans to assist dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources,

each of which is hereinafter referred to in this paragraph as a special purpose entity.

The legislature, by a two-thirds vote of the members to which each house is entitled, may enact enabling legislation for the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds separately for each special purpose entity, and, by a two-thirds vote of the members to which each house is entitled and by separate legislative bill, may authorize the State to issue special purpose revenue bonds for each single project or multi-project program of each special purpose entity; provided that the issuance of such special purpose revenue bonds is found to be in the public interest by the legislature; and provided further that the State may combine into a single issue of special purpose revenue bonds two or more proposed issues of special purpose revenue bonds to assist:

(1) Not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and universities;

(2) Dam and reservoir owners; or

(3) Agricultural enterprises,

separately authorized as aforesaid, in the total amount not exceeding the aggregate of the proposed separate issues of special purpose revenue bonds. The legislature may enact enabling legislation to authorize political subdivisions to issue special purpose revenue bonds. If so authorized, a political subdivision by a two-thirds vote of the members to which its governing body is entitled and by separate ordinance may authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds for each single project or multi-project program of each special purpose entity; provided that the issuance of such special purpose revenue bonds is found to be in the public interest by the governing body of the political subdivision. No special purpose revenue bonds shall be secured directly or indirectly by the general credit of the issuer or by any revenues or taxes of the issuer other than receipts derived from payments by a person or persons under contract or from any security for such contract or contracts or special purpose revenue bonds and no moneys other than such receipts shall be applied to the payment thereof. The governor shall provide the legislature in November of each year with a report on the cumulative amount of all special purpose revenue bonds authorized and issued, and such other information as may be necessary. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am L 1994, c 280, 2 (HB 2692-94) and election Nov 8, 1994; am HB 4142 (1996) and election Nov 5, 1996; am HB 2848 (2002) and election Nov 5, 2002; am SB 2479 (2006) and election Nov 7, 2006; am HB 748 (2014) and SB 2876 (2014) and election Nov 4, 2014]

 

Revision Note

 

This section is a blend of the amendments made by HB 748 and SB 2876 (2014) and was reviewed and approved by the Attorney General.

 

Case Notes

 

It was not necessary for a public project to have been constructed in order for the taxes involved in the financing of the public project to qualify as "user taxes" as that term is defined in paragraph (9); one per cent increase in transient accommodations tax earmarked for financing expenses associated with convention center development and construction qualified as a "user tax". 78 H. 157, 890 P.2d 1197.

Financing agreements entered into in accordance with chapter 37D are not bonds as that term is used in this section and thus do not count toward the debt ceiling of article VII, 13 of Hawaii constitution. 85 H. 1, 936 P.2d 637.

 

 

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