Bill would create 50% fireworks tax


POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The state Legislature is considering slapping a 50 percent tax on the sale of fireworks.

The state House Public Safety Committee voted yesterday to amend House Bill 887, introduced by Rep. Marilyn Lee, to include the tax. The measure had originally called for a ban on the sale of all fireworks in Honolulu.

The tax would be for all the consumer types of fireworks, not just firecrackers. It would include sparklers, snakes, fountains and spinners, according to the bill.

The measure passed without discussion, although Reps. Kymberly Pine, Roy Takumi and Karl Rhoads voted for the bill “;with reservations.”;

The tax would be in addition to the usual state taxes and the $25 permit fee for the use of firecrackers.

The proposal said the tax money raised would go to a special fund, with the money going to the counties.

It also calls for a study “;to determine the health effects of consumer fireworks on children under the age of 18.”;

The study is also to include “;the short- and long-term consequences, if any, of the fireworks on the hearing ability and development of young children.”;

The House committee also approved a bill, HB 383, that would allow the counties to make more stringent rules for the use of fireworks than the existing state law.

The Senate is looking at SB 2, which would ban all consumer fireworks except for religious or cultural purposes. That measure will be heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee at 1 p.m. Thursday in Room 229 of the state Capitol.