The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District was created on May 18th, 2015 by city ordinance to preserve and restore Waikīkī Beach and to provide consistent and credible management for future beach revitalization. Special improvement districts are proven tool used across the country to fund specific projects within the area that are supplemental to government services. SIDs are among the most effective ways of forming and funding public-private partnerships to muster resources to tackle especially complicated challenges.
Under the ordinance, a private non-profit entity will be formed to govern the SID. The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA) is governed by an Board of Directors and an Executive Committee directed by representatives of Waikīkī property owners, other stakeholders and by state and county government designees.
The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA) is authorized by Ordinance No. 15-11 (May 18, 2015), Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, to raise money from commercial properties in Waikīkī. The District is defined in the District Plan and Ordinance as all commercial properties from Ala Wai Harbor to the Kapahulu groin and from the Ala Wai Canal to the ocean are accessed are Beach Special Improvement tax based on their property value.
Bill 81 (2014) – Relating to special improvement districts, permits a special district to be established in order to supplement the costs of constructing shoreline improvement, restoration, and protection projects.
Bill 82 (2014) CD2, FD1 – Relating to the establishment of the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvements District No. 3, creates the new district, which extends from the Ala Wai Canal/Ala Wai Boat Harbor and Kapahulu Avenue to Kalākaua Avenue and seaward to include the Kapahulu Groin.
With the passage of the new ordinances, commercial property owners from Ala Wai Harbor to Kaimana Beach and from the Ala Wai Canal to the submerged lands and coastal waters 150 feet makai of the shoreline are currently taxed 7.21 cents per $1,000 of their assessed property value*. There are an estimated 6,000 or more such parcels that are assessed, with costs to their property owners ranging from tens of thousands of dollars per year for owners of large beachfront parcels to less than $100 for smaller, off-beach parcels.
*In Fiscal year 2017-18, the Tax Assessment rate for 2018-19 was reduced from 7.63 cents/$1000 to 7.21 cents/$1000 due to increased property values exceeding the tax assessment limit of no more than 10% per year.