Hawaii Senate to vote on rail surcharge today
News release from Office of Sen Sam Slom April 14, 2015
HONOLULU – Today on the floor of the Senate chamber, lawmakers will vote on whether or not to extend the rail surcharge. Easily the most contentious issue of the 2015 legislative session, a decision on House Bill 134 Senate Draft 2 today has the potential to affect Oahu taxpayers for years to come.
Some will not live to see the day when the rail project will finally begin operations.
According to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, the rail tax surcharge is regressive, affecting lower income earners the hardest when measured as a percentage of income. A taxpayer in Honolulu earning $10,100 annually will pay an additional $103.10 per year for the rail project, roughly 10% of their income. Taxpayers earning $25,000 annually will pay an additional $197.19 or 8.5% of their income, while taxpayers earning $42,100 annually will pay 6.5%. This regressive trend continues all the way to the top earning income bracket, where those who earn $811,300 or more annually will pay $903.42 for rail, or about 1.2% of their income.
Senator Sam Slom says, "A half percent increase seems like nothing but the effect on taxpayers is substantial. I am against putting any additional burden on Oahu's taxpayers."
Senate Minority budget director Paul Harleman says, "What's important to note is that over the project's lifespan the state is projected to have skimmed a total of $496 million from the GET surcharge collections, which is about half the size of the projected deficit. If the state stopped keeping 10% of the surcharge, the extension could be reduced by one to two years."
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It's Time for the Silent Majority to Speak Out!
From Time Out Honolulu April 12, 2014
HB 134 will extend the rail GET surcharge for 5 more years (5 more beyond the current 2022 - so now we have to pay $200.00 per person until 2027)!
This bill will be voted on this Tuesday - 4/14 - in the State Senate.
Call or email your State Senator today and tell them to vote "No".
Let's generate 5,000 emails or calls!
LINK: Contact your Senator
Here is the bill: Text, Status
Please use all your social media skills to get the word out.
Share this message and tell your friends to share it as well.
The union representatives have appeared at all the hearings.
The mayor has visited all the elected representatives.
Now it is your turn.
Stop the Rail GET Surcharge Extension Bills.