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June 30, 2003
RE: Act 135, Session Laws of Hawaii 2003, Relating to Taxation (Act 135)

Act 135 amends or repeal obsolete tax laws.

Section 1 of Act 135 adds definitions of “retailer” and “sales at retail” because other sections in chapters 237 and 238, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), refer to these terms. (Section 237-16, HRS, which refers to retailers and certain sales at retail, is repealed in section 6 of Act 135)

Section 2 amends section 231-23, HRS, by designating the tax reserve fund as a trust fund, rather than as a special fund. The moneys in the fund are used to refund overpaid taxes. This change implements a recommendation by the State Auditor.

Section 3 repeals the general excise tax (GET) exemption in section 237-24.3, HRS, for locally produced goods that was held to be unconstitutional in the Matter of Hawaiian Flour Mills, Inc., 76 Haw. 1 (1994).

Section 4 makes housekeeping amendments to the use tax law.

Sections 5 and 8 repeal sections 237-8.5 and 238-2.5, HRS, respectively, relating to the obsolete general excise and use tax surcharge tax proposed for the funding of a mass-transit system.

Section 6 repeals section 237-16, HRS, relating to the imposition of the GET on certain retailing, because this section is duplicative of section 237-13, HRS, which imposes the GET on all business activities, including retailing.

Section 7 repeals section 237-28.2, HRS, relating to an exemption for producers of motion picture or television films, because the exemption expired on July 1, 1976.

Current forms and other tax information are available at the Department’s website at: If you know which tax form or publication you need, please call the Department’s request line at 808-587-7572, or toll-free from the neighbor islands and continental U.S. at 1-800-222-7572. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kurt Kawafuchi
Director of Taxation