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Hawaii's Democrat governor wants to impose $25 'climate impact fee' on tourists to prevent wildfires, preserve beaches
Main photo by Mengshin Lin for the Washington Post via Getty Images | Inset photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Hawaii's Democrat governor wants to impose $25 'climate impact fee' on tourists to prevent wildfires, preserve beaches

The Democrat governor of Hawaii has proposed a $25 "climate impact fee" on tourists to help preserve the state's natural environment.

During his state of the state address last month, Gov. Josh Green claimed that the fee was necessary to "provide the needed resources to protect our environment and increase awareness of the impacts of climate change." Green believes that the fee will generate $68 million in much-needed annual revenue.

Green also claimed that the state would use this money to preserve beaches and guard the state against future wildfires such as the catastrophic fires that broke out in Lahaina last August, killing at least 100 people, most of whom were elderly. Green also hopes to earmark at least half of that revenue for a state disaster relief fund or disaster insurance, which he said is necessary to dissuade investors from taking their investment dollars elsewhere, thinking that the investment risk in Hawaii is too high, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

About 9.5 million people visited the Aloha State last year, far outnumbering the state's 1.5 million residents. Should Green's proposal pass, tourist parties, regardless of size, will be assessed that $25 fee when checking in at hotels or short-term rentals.

"I believe this is not too much to ask of visitors," Green stated.

Last week, the state House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee began debating the governor's proposal. Though Hawaii's legislature is overwhelmingly left-leaning, with just eight total Republicans compared with 68 Democrats, the proposal is not guaranteed to pass. Last year, Gov. Green proposed a similar measure that would have imposed a $40 or $50 tourism fee, but it failed "in the final hours of the legislative session," the Daily Mail reported.

In lieu of a tourism fee, the governor said he's open to alternative ideas such as increasing the Transient Accommodations Tax. However, at 10.25%, the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association has argued that TAT is already high and that bumping it up even higher will almost assuredly deter visitors.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →