Hawaii Agricultural Enterprise Assistance Act, Amendment 5 (2006)

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Hawaii Amendment 5, also known as the Bonds for Assistance to Agricultural Enterprise Act, was on the November 7, 2006 election ballot in Hawaii as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1]

The proposal authorizes the State of Hawaii to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises.

Election results

Hawaii Amendment 5
Approveda Yes 222,072 63.7%

Text of measure

Hawaii Constitution
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Ballot question

The question on the ballot was:

Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises serving important agricultural lands?

Official description

Description of Proposed Amendment

The proposed amendment would authorize the State to issue special purpose revenue bonds to assist agricultural enterprises serving important agricultural lands.

Special purpose revenue bonds are tax exempt and would allow agricultural enterprises to enjoy tax savings not available through other means of financing. Special purpose revenue bonds do not involve any state appropriation or expenditure and are not secured by the full faith and credit of the State.

Currently, the State Constitution allows the following entities to use special purpose revenue bonds: 1. Manufacturing, processing or industrial enterprises; 2. Utilities serving the general public; 3. Healthcare facilities; 4. Early childhood education and care facilities; 5. Low and moderate income government housing programs; and 6. Not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian schools and colleges.

The proposed amendment would add agricultural enterprises serving "important agricultural lands" to this list. The term important agricultural lands is defined under Act 183, Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, and generally means lands that: 1. Are capable of producing sustained high agricultural yields; 2. Contribute to the State's economic base; and 3. Are needed to promote the expansion of agricultural activities.

The State's important agricultural lands, however, have not yet been identified. Pursuant to a state constitutionally mandated process of providing standards and criteria to "conserve and protect agricultural lands [and] ... assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands," the State and the counties have recently undertaken a comprehensive and lengthy administrative process to identify important agricultural lands. The on-going process includes requiring the State or counties to identify eligible lands, creating appropriate land maps, providing an appeals process for farmers, inviting public input, and reclassifying eligible lands as necessary.

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