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School Impact Fees

Schools are the central hub of any active community — build them, and the families will come. We partner with state agencies and developers to ensure that, as a community progresses, evaluations are in place to determine if a school impact district must be established, and related fees are collected to ensure (1) schools are expanded to meet the community’s need, and/or (2) new schools are built.

Process and history

The Hawai‘i State Legislature via Act 245 of 2007 authorized the Board of Education (BOE) to approve school impact districts, in which impact fees may be collected. These districts must be areas of high growth that will require new schools, or the expansion of existing schools, to accommodate the increase in new families and school enrollments. Commercial projects, industrial projects, senior housing projects, replacement homes or projects to enlarge existing homes are exempt. Since the enactment of the law, the BOE has approved four school impact districts:

  1. Kalihi-Ala Moana
  2. Leeward O‘ahu
  3. West Maui
  4. Central Maui

Fees collected from this program are kept in an account maintained by the School Facilities Authority (SFA). Quarterly reports of those fees are below:

Also included in some of these reports are fair share contributions by developers. The history of private donations for public school facilities in Hawai‘i goes back to the 1831 donation of land by the Kingdom of Hawai‘i to the Department of Education’s (DOE) oldest school: Lahainaluna High School. School land and buildings were often provided by agricultural plantations for their worker communities. After statehood, when developers sought to get urban classifications from the state and county governments, the land-approving agencies imposed school fair-share conditions. Developers were required to meet with the DOE and agree to provide land and/or funding to offset the student enrollment impacts of their residential development. 

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Section 302A-1601 established the school impact fee system to replace fair share in 2007 with a statutorily defined system of compensation and expenditure. Act 72 of 2020 transferred the school impact fee to the SFA, but the DOE continued to administer the program until June 20, 2024. The DOE still administers any aspects of the fair share program still in effect.

Anyone with questions about this process is encouraged to contact the SFA at impactfees@hisfa.org.

School Impact Districts

KALIHI-ALA MOANA (O‘AHU)
Since October 1, 2018, homebuilders and residential developers in the urban corridor from Kalihi to Ala Moana have been subject to a school impact fee when applying for building permits for new residential construction.

The Kalihi-Ala Moana School Impact Fee District is defined as those areas served by the following elementary schools: Fern, Kalihi Kai, Kalihi Waena, Linapuni, and Pu‘uhale in the Farrington Complex; and Ka‘ahumanu, Ka‘iulani, Kauluwela, Likelike, and Royal in the McKinley Complex.

In coordination with the City and County of Honolulu, building permit applicants are notified by letter to submit payment to the SFA prior to issuance of a building permit. The fee amount is $3,864 per unit. Developers for residential projects of 50 units or more will be required to meet with the SFA to determine if fees will take the form of a land contribution for future school sites, cash, or a combination of both. Developers must meet with the SFA before projects are subdivided or receive change in zoning approval.

Key forms: 

LEEWARD O‘AHU
Since September 1, 2013, home builders and residential developers in the areas of ‘Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu, ‘Ewa and Kapolei have been subject to a school impact fee when applying for building permits for any new residential construction. 

In coordination with the City and County of Honolulu, building permit applicants are notified by letter to submit payment to the SFA prior to issuance of a building permit. Fee amounts are set at $4,334 per unit for multi-family units and $5,504 for single family units. Developers for residential projects of 50 units or more will be required to meet with the SFA to determine if fees will take the form of a land contribution for future school sites, cash, or a combination of both. Developers must meet with the SFA before projects are subdivided or receive change in zoning approval. 

Key forms:

CENTRAL MAUI (Wailuku, Kahului, Kīhei)
Key forms:

WEST MAUI (Lahaina, Kā‘anapali, Kapalua)
Key forms: