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Thursday, April 30, 2015
Desperate to Push GE Tax Hike Thru, HART Pretends Property Tax Hike is Only Alternative
By News Release @ 3:07 AM :: 4476 Views :: Honolulu County, Rail, Taxes

Watch HART try to pitch a Property Tax hike in order to make the GE tax seem palatable. 

Who could possibly be fooled by this tired old trick? 


Subject: Property Tax and GET Surcharge Comparison 

Dear Chair Kobayashi and Councilmembers:                  April 16, 2015

In response to a request from Councilmember Trevor Ozawa at the April 8, 2015 Honolulu City Council Budget Committee Meeting as to the impact to homeowners if the $900 million shortfall were offset by property tax instead of the proposed 5-year extension of the General Excise Tax GET Surcharge, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation provides the following:

Assuming the property tax rate was raised to finance the shortfall in five 5 years, the increase to the median residential property owner $700,000 property value would be approximately $414 per year. In comparison, the estimated median household would pay approximately $218 per year in GET surcharge.

See attached comparison charts. >>> PDF


Daniel Grabauskas

Executive Director arid CEO

  *   *   *   *   *  

Flashback March 8, 2015 -- Complete Debunk of Rail Tax Hike Arguments

Star-Adv Editorial: Senate Bill 19, Senate Draft 2, trimmed the extension period proposed in the original bill from 25 years to five, an important change that rightly keeps the focus on completing the original phase of the elevated rail system....

REALITY: This is an old tax-hiker's trick.  Caldwell pitched a 25 year extension to make the 5 year extension seem palatable.  They're both tax hikes and Caldwell has already announced his intention to come back for more if he gets the 5 year extension.

Star-Adv: as construction costs rapidly rise and revenue sources decline, the project now faces a projected deficit of $910 million....Under the current budget projections, HART would lack sufficient funds to certify contracts that are scheduled to be awarded early next year, causing what are sure to be expensive delays in Honolulu's overheated construction market....

REALITY: Most of the $910M figure is smoke and mirrors accounting designed to create a false sense of crisis and stampede legislators into risking their political future on a GE Tax hike.  The first three-station bids are only $3.9M over projection.  Honolulu's construction market is not overheated.

Star-Adv: It's telling that a recent Hawaii Poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now found rail and traffic to be the primary concerns for Oahu residents, topping homelessness, the economy and education.

REALITY: That was just a Ward Poll.  Ward knows how to get the result her customer wants.  Meanwhile the People's Pulse poll showed "Economy, Housing Remain at Forefront."

Star-Adv: Although the GET admittedly is a regressive tax, the surcharge taps into spending by residents and visitors alike....

REALITY: The GE Tax is 80-85% paid by local residents.  The poor suffer most.

Borreca: Rail transit plan may stink, but we're stuck with it now

REALITY: We can choose to control HART's spending and eliminate the 10% GE Tax skim rather than submitting to another GE Tax hike.  We don't have to be trapped by false choices and false information arranged to steer us to a pre-determined outcome.

read ... Predictable Old Boy Tax Hike Trap


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