While the Hawaii State Board of Education reconsiders a tax meant to help build new schools, the Department of Education is planning a public hearing on whether to apply it to the Leeward Oahu district.

The hearing to discuss school impact fees is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at Waipahu High School library.

If Leeward Oahu becomes the next school impact district, developers of new residential units in the area would be required to donate land and/or pay a fee to help build schools that would support students moving into new homes in the Aiea, Campbell, Pearl City, Kapolei and Waipahu areas.

The formulaic fee, established in 2007 by the Legislature, is currently applied in two districts on Maui, and has yielded about $20,000 in impact fees. West Hawaii was scheduled to begin collecting the fee last July, but as of October had not done so.

Legal problems and procedural snafus — like having no mechanism to collect the fees — have held up implementation in the three existing areas and caused concern among Board of Education members. Meanwhile, 10 other areas are being considered for the fee — six of them on Oahu, including one in the Leeward district.

Read the full news release on the public hearing from the Department of Education here, and the full draft analysis of the proposed impact district here.

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