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Article VII, Hawaii Constitution

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Hawaii Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
Article VII of the Hawaii Constitution is entitled Taxation and Finance. It has 13 sections.

Amendments

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Taxing Power Inalienable

The power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended or contracted away.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Income Taxation

In enacting any law imposing a tax on or measured by income, the legislature may define income by reference to provisions of the laws of the United States as they may be or become effective at any time or from time to time, whether retrospective or prospective in their operation. The legislature may provide that amendments to such laws of the United States shall become the law of the State upon their becoming the law of the United States. The legislature shall in any such law set the rate or rates of such tax. The legislature may in so defining income make exceptions, additions or modifications to any provisions of the laws of the United States so referred to and provide for retrospective exceptions or modifications to those provisions which are retrospective.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Tax Review Commission

There shall be a tax review commission, which shall be appointed as provided by law on or before July 1, 1980, and every five years thereafter. The commission shall submit to the legislature an evaluation of the State's tax structure, recommend revenue and tax policy and then dissolve.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Appropriations for Private Purposes Prohibited

No tax shall be levied or appropriation of public money or property made, nor shall the public credit be used, directly or indirectly, except for a public purpose. No grant shall be made in violation of Section 4 of Article I of this constitution. No grant of public money or property shall be made except pursuant to standards provided by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Expenditure Controls

Provision for the control of the rate of expenditures of appropriated state moneys, and for the reduction of such expenditures under prescribed conditions, shall be made by law.

No public money shall be expended except pursuant to appropriations made by law. General fund expenditures for any fiscal year shall not exceed the State's current general fund revenues and unencumbered cash balances, except when the governor publicly declares the public health, safety or welfare is threatened as provided by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Disposition of Excess Revenues

Whenever the state general fund balance at the close of each of two successive fiscal years exceeds five percent of general fund revenues for each of the two fiscal years, the legislature in the next regular session shall provide for a tax refund or tax credit to the taxpayers of the State, as provided by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.
  • Amended by SB 2807 (2010) and election on November 2, 2010.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Council on Revenues

There shall be established by law a council on revenues which shall prepare revenue estimates of the state government and shall report the estimates to the governor and the legislature at times provided by law. The estimates shall be considered by the governor in preparing the budget, recommending appropriations and revenues and controlling expenditures. The estimates shall be considered by the legislature in appropriating funds and enacting revenue measures. All revenue estimates submitted by the council to the governor and the legislature shall be made public. If the legislature in appropriating funds or if the governor in preparing the budget or recommending appropriations exceeds estimated revenues due to proposed expenditures, this fact shall be made public including the reasons therefore.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

The Budget

Within such time prior to the opening of each regular session in an odd-numbered year as may be provided by law, the governor shall submit to the legislature a budget in a form provided by law setting forth a complete plan of proposed expenditures of the executive branch, estimates as provided by law of the aggregate expenditures of the judicial and legislative branches, and anticipated receipts of the State for the ensuing fiscal biennium, together with such other information as the legislature may require. A complete plan of proposed expenditures of the judicial branch for the ensuing fiscal biennium shall be submitted by the chief justice to the legislature in a form and within such time prior to the opening of each regular session in an odd-numbered year as shall be provided by law. The budget prepared by the governor and the plan of proposed expenditures prepared by the chief justice shall also be submitted in bill form. The governor shall also, upon the opening of each such session, submit bills to provide for such proposed expenditures and for any recommended additional revenues or borrowings by which the proposed expenditures are to be met. The proposed general fund expenditures in the plan of proposed expenditures, including estimates of the aggregate expenditures of the judicial and legislative branches, submitted by the governor shall not exceed the general fund expenditure ceiling established by the legislature under section 9 of this article; provided that proposed general fund expenditures in the plan may exceed such ceiling if the governor sets forth the dollar amount and the rate by which the ceiling will be exceeded and the reasons therefore.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Legislative Appropriations; Procedures; Expenditure Ceiling

In each regular session in an odd-numbered year, the legislature shall transmit to the governor an appropriation bill or bills providing for the anticipated total expenditures of the State for the ensuing fiscal biennium. In such session, no appropriation bill, except bills recommended by the governor for immediate passage, or to cover the expenses of the legislature, shall be passed on final reading until the bill authorizing operating expenditures for the ensuing fiscal biennium, to be known as the general appropriations bill, shall have been transmitted to the governor.

In each regular session in an even-numbered year, at such time as may be provided by law, the governor may submit to the legislature a bill to amend any appropriation for operating expenditures of the current fiscal biennium, to be known as the supplemental appropriations bill, and bills to amend any appropriations for capital expenditures of the current fiscal biennium, and at the same time the governor shall submit a bill or bills to provide for any added revenues or borrowings that such amendments may require. In each regular session in an even-numbered year, bills may be introduced in the legislature to amend any appropriation act or bond authorization act of the current fiscal biennium or prior fiscal periods. In any such session in which the legislature submits to the governor a supplemental appropriations bill, no other appropriation bill, except bills recommended by the governor for immediate passage, or to cover the expenses of the legislature, shall be passed on final reading until such supplemental appropriations bill shall have been transmitted to the governor.

General Fund Expenditure Ceiling

Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, the legislature shall establish a general fund expenditure ceiling which shall limit the rate of growth of general fund appropriations, excluding federal funds received by the general fund, to the estimated rate of growth of the State's economy as provided by law. No appropriations in excess of such ceiling shall be authorized during any legislative session unless the legislature shall, by a two-thirds vote of the members to which each house of the legislature is entitled, set forth the dollar amount and the rate by which the ceiling will be exceeded and the reasons therefore.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by SB 1947-72 (1972) and election on November 7, 1972.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Auditor

The legislature, by a majority vote of each house in joint session, shall appoint an auditor who shall serve for a period of eight years and thereafter until a successor shall have been appointed. The legislature, by a two-thirds vote of the members in joint session, may remove the auditor from office at any time for cause. It shall be the duty of the auditor to conduct post-audits of the transactions, accounts, programs and performance of all departments, offices and agencies of the State and its political subdivisions, to certify to the accuracy of all financial statements issued by the respective accounting officers and to report the auditor's findings and recommendations to the governor and to the legislature at such times as shall be provided by law. The auditor shall also make such additional reports and conduct such other investigations as may be directed by the legislature.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Lapsing of Appropriations

All appropriations for which the source is general obligation bond funds or general funds shall be for specified periods. No such appropriation shall be made for a period exceeding three years; provided that appropriations from the state educational facilities improvement special fund may be made for periods exceeding three years to allow for construction or acquisition of public school facilities. Any such appropriation or any portion of any such appropriation that is unencumbered at the close of the fiscal period for which the appropriation is made shall lapse; provided that no appropriation for which the source is general obligation bond funds nor any portion of any such appropriation shall lapse if the legislature determines that the appropriation or any portion of the appropriation is necessary to qualify for federal aid financing and reimbursement. Where general obligation bonds have been authorized for an appropriation, the amount of the bond authorization shall be reduced in an amount equal to the amount lapsed.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.
  • Amended by SB 2211 (1996) and election on November 5, 1996.

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Definitions; Issuance of Indebtedness

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 therefore, 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 therefore, have been made.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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; or

7.Agricultural enterprises serving important agricultural lands, 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 not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and universities, separately authorized as aforesaid, in the total amount of 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.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.
  • Amended by L 1994, c 280, §2 (HB 2692-94) and election on November 8, 1994.
  • Amended by HB 4142 (1996) and election on November 5, 1996.
  • Amended by HB 2848 (2002) and election on November 5, 2002.
  • Amended by SB 2479 (2006) and election on November 7, 2006.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Debt Limit; Exclusions

General obligation bonds may be issued by the State; provided that such bonds at the time of issuance would not cause the total amount of principal and interest payable in the current or any future fiscal year, whichever is higher, on such bonds and on all outstanding general obligation bonds to exceed: a sum equal to twenty percent of the average of the general fund revenues of the State in the three fiscal years immediately preceding such issuance until June 30, 1982; and thereafter, a sum equal to eighteen and one-half percent of the average of the general fund revenues of the State in the three fiscal years immediately preceding such issuance. Effective July 1, 1980, the legislature shall include a declaration of findings in every general law authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds that the total amount of principal and interest, estimated for such bonds and for all bonds authorized and unissued and calculated for all bonds issued and outstanding, will not cause the debt limit to be exceeded at the time of issuance. Any bond issue by or on behalf of the State may exceed the debt limit if an emergency condition is declared to exist by the governor and concurred to by a two-thirds vote of the members to which each house of the legislature is entitled. For the purpose of this paragraph, general fund revenues of the State shall not include moneys received as grants from the federal government and receipts in reimbursement of any reimbursable general obligation bonds which are excluded as permitted by this section.

A sum equal to fifteen percent of the total of the assessed values for tax rate purposes of real property in each political subdivision, as determined by the last tax assessment rolls pursuant to law, is established as the limit of the funded debt of such political subdivision that is outstanding and unpaid at any time.

All general obligation bonds for a term exceeding two years shall be in serial form maturing in substantially equal installments of principal, or maturing in substantially equal installments of both principal and interest. The first installment of principal of general obligation bonds and of reimbursable general obligation bonds shall mature not later than five years from the date of issue of such series. The last installment on general obligation bonds shall mature not later than twenty-five years from the date of such issue and the last installment on general obligation bonds sold to the federal government, on reimbursable general obligation bonds and on bonds constituting instruments of indebtedness under which the State or a political subdivision incurs a contingent liability as a guarantor shall mature not later than thirty-five years from the date of such issue. The interest and principal payments of general obligation bonds shall be a first charge on the general fund of the State or political subdivision, as the case may be.

In determining the power of the State to issue general obligation bonds or the funded debt of any political subdivision under section 12, the following shall be excluded:

1. Bonds that have matured, or that mature in the then current fiscal year, or that have been irrevocably called for redemption and the redemption date has occurred or will occur in the then fiscal year, or for the full payment of which moneys or securities have been irrevocably set aside.

2. Revenue bonds, if the issuer thereof is obligated by law to impose rates, rentals and charges for the use and services of the public undertaking, improvement or system or the benefits of a loan program or a loan thereunder or to impose a user tax, or to impose a combination of rates, rentals and charges and user tax, as the case may be, sufficient to pay the cost of operation, maintenance and repair, if any, of the public undertaking, improvement or system or the cost of maintaining a loan program or a loan thereunder and the required payments of the principal of and interest on all revenue bonds issued for the public undertaking, improvement or system or loan program, and if the issuer is obligated to deposit such revenues or tax or a combination of both into a special fund and to apply the same to such payments in the amount necessary therefore.

3. Special purpose revenue bonds, if the issuer thereof is required by law to contract with a person obligating such person to make rental or other payments to the issuer in an amount at least sufficient to make the required payment of the principal of and interest on such special purpose revenue bonds.

4. Bonds issued under special improvement statutes when the only security for such bonds is the properties benefited or improved or the assessments thereon.

5. General obligation bonds issued for assessable improvements, but only to the extent that reimbursements to the general fund for the principal and interest on such bonds are in fact made from assessment collections available therefore.

6. Reimbursable general obligation bonds issued for a public undertaking, improvement or system but only to the extent that reimbursements to the general fund are in fact made from the net revenue, or net user tax receipts, or combination of both, as determined for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

7. Reimbursable general obligation bonds issued by the State for any political subdivision, whether issued before or after the effective date of this section, but only for as long as reimbursement by the political subdivision to the State for the payment of principal and interest on such bonds is required by law; provided that in the case of bonds issued after the effective date of this section, the consent of the governing body of the political subdivision has first been obtained; and provided further that during the period that such bonds are excluded by the State, the principal amount then outstanding shall be included within the funded debt of such political subdivision.

8. Bonds constituting instruments of indebtedness under which the State or any political subdivision incurs a contingent liability as a guarantor, but only to the extent the principal amount of such bonds does not exceed seven percent of the principal amount of outstanding general obligation bonds not otherwise excluded under this section; provided that the State or political subdivision shall establish and maintain a reserve in an amount in reasonable proportion to the outstanding loans guaranteed by the State or political subdivision as provided by law.

9. Bonds issued by or on behalf of the State or by any political subdivision to meet appropriations for any fiscal period in anticipation of the collection of revenues for such period or to meet casual deficits or failures of revenue, if required to be paid within one year, and bonds issued by or on behalf of the State to suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, to defend the State in war or to meet emergencies caused by disaster or act of God.

The total outstanding indebtedness of the State or funded debt of any political subdivision and the exclusions therefrom permitted by this section shall be made annually and certified by law or as provided by law. For the purposes of section 12 and this section, amounts received from on-street parking may be considered and treated as revenues of a parking undertaking.

Nothing in section 12 or in this section shall prevent the refunding of any bond at any time.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

See also

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