Requesting a Change in Acreage Assessment

 

Purpose: 

The purpose of this informational page is to provide information on how to request an acreage assessment change and who is eligible for this request.

 

What is the definition of acreage assessment?

Per Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 167 Irrigation Water Development,

“Acreage Assessment” means any levy imposed pursuant to Chapter 167 on the agricultural and pasture land within an irrigation project and any amount charged to the State or to the Hawaiian Homes Commission for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, or maintaining irrigation facilities for an irrigation project.

Who determines the amount of acreage assessments levied?

The Board of Agriculture (BOA) establishes and certifies the total amount of acreage assessments to be levied every June.

Who can request an acreage assessment change?

Any customer who is not a lessee of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s  Agricultural Park or Non-Agricultural Park Lands Programs, whose parcel is levied an acreage assessment by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) can request an acreage assessment change.

Should the customer be a lessee of any State of Hawaii agency, including the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, in order for the HDOA to consider the request, the customer must submit an official letter from the agency acknowledging the non-development of the leased parcel and that the customer is in good standing with the terms set forth in their general lease.

 

What are possible reasons for an acreage assessment change that may be considered by the BOA?

  1. Should a consumer lose the right to cultivate a portion of the consumer’s acreage, except by default for nonpayment of water delivery bills.
  2. Should a user, who owns the irrigated land in fee, wish to discontinue their service as they intend to vacate the premises.
  3. Should the customer be a lessee of any other State of Hawaii agency, including the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) who is not actively farming, and wishes to reduce the chargeable acreage to the two acre minimum.  

 

To expedite the review process, requests should include a copy of the customer’s approved Conservation Plan (if applicable) and state the current assessed acreage, the amount of the current acreage assessment charge, and the percentage of the assessed acreage that has been developed per the Conservation Plan and the reason for requesting a change in the acreage assessment.

All requests, for whatever reason provided by the customer, will be reviewed by the DOA on a case-by-case basis.

After receiving a request, the HDOA will review the customer’s irrigation account.  If there are any delinquent charges in excess of 60 days, the request will be denied and a letter will be sent out to notify the customer within 30 days.  If the customer can clear all delinquent payments by March 31, or the customer is actively participating and current in an approved repayment plan, the HDOA will resume review of the request.

If the account is not delinquent, the HDOA will coordinate a site visit with the customer by April 30 to confirm the area under cultivation for the acreage assessment re-certification. 

If a customer is a lessee of any other State of Hawaii agency, the HDOA will verify the validity of the lessor’s concurrence letter that was provided by the requesting customer.

Should the HDOA have any questions or need additional information, a letter will be sent to the customer within 30 days of receipt of the original request.

If there are no outstanding issues, the certification will be brought before the BOA in the June meeting for the ensuing fiscal year.

If the certification is approved by the BOA, the HDOA will send out notification letters to each customer to inform them of any change in acreage assessments in July.

When should a customer submit their “request for an acreage assessment change”?

Acreages are only lowered once per year at the June BOA meeting.  Once acreage assessments are certified at the June meeting, the customer is obligated at that acreage for the coming fiscal year.  In order for a reduction in acreage assessment change to be considered for the upcoming fiscal year, the customer must submit a written request to the DOA by March 31 of the current fiscal year.

Who does a customer submit their “request for an acreage assessment change” to?

The customer should submit their request to:

State of Hawaii
Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Resource Management Division
Irrigation Infrastructure Branch Manager
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii  96814-2512

or

            hdoa.arm@hawaii.gov

            Attention:  Irrigation Infrastructure Branch Manager