Ward Objects to Passing a Billion Dollar Rail Tax Increase by Voice Vote on State House Floor
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) May 2, 2017
Representative Gene Ward (R, Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) objected to Speaker Souki and the majority leaders for allowing today’s floor amendment to SB 1183 regarding the Rail tax to be passed with only a voice vote.
“You do not create nor increase the public’s taxes by a billion dollars based solely on a mere voice vote, we all need to stand up and be counted,” Ward said.
Not only was the amendment passed with only a voice vote, Speaker Souki announced that the vote passed before the opposing “Nays” could even be heard.
Ward added there was also a ‘poison pill’ on the Rail Bill he voted against because it took almost $67 million away from the City and County of Honolulu. This deficit can only be recouped by raising property taxes, which is something Ward strongly objects to.
“The reasoning the Majority Leaders gave for the voice vote was for speed and efficiency. However, this is not the case, as it was done to protect the legislature members voting records. This is unfair to our constituents, who deserve transparency on what their representatives are voting for,” Ward concluded.
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Rail at Risk!
Ige Failure to Lead Hurts Hawaii
News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott, May 4, 2017
We are facing a crisis with the biggest public works project in the history of Hawaii and the Governor would not use the authority of his office to force a legislative solution.
This is shibai.
Billions of dollars are at risk and yet there is no sense of urgency, and zero leadership from the Governor’s office or the Democrat majority.
We need to get the job done now. Governor Ige should immediately honor the request of our four mayors and call a special session to reach an agreement on rail financing. Quite simply we need to finish our work.
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As Time Runs Out, House and Senate Still Divided Over How To Pay For Rail
CB: The House and Senate remain at a standoff on how to pay for rescuing Honolulu’s troubled rail project, with the two chambers passing competing tax proposals on Tuesday.
The Senate voted to modify Senate Bill 1183 to extend the general excise tax (GET) surcharge currently levied on Oahu taxpayers until 2037. It was similar to a Senate draft that the House rejected just last week.
The House later approved its own a version of the bill that would raise the state’s hotel tax from 9.25 percent to 10.25 percent to pay for rail, while only extending GET until 2028.
If the two chambers can’t agree by Thursday, the funding bill will die…. (Yippieeee!!!)
read … As Time Runs Out, House and Senate Still Divided Over How To Pay For Rail