Full Text: Lawmakers Plan for Neighbor Islands to Pay for Rail
CB Aug 8, 2017: …Hawaii lawmakers are weighing five options to provide funding to complete Honolulu’s over-budget rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana, including a statewide increase in the general excise and hotel taxes, according to a state Senate presentation….
The draft 52-page presentation, provided by a state senator Monday lays the groundwork for a case to have Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties help fund Honolulu’s beleaguered project. It notes that Oahu subsidizes harbors, airports and highways on the neighbor islands.
The presentation includes options to extend the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for Oahu; increase the GET surcharge for Oahu; extend the GET surcharge for Oahu and increase the hotel tax for Oahu; or establish a statewide GET surcharge and hotel tax increase….
PDF: 52-Page Rail Tax Surcharge Options
PDF: Aug 14 Legislative Public Hearing on Rail Tax Hike
read … Poison Pill
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PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING ON RAIL FUNDING SET FOR AUG. 14
News Release from House Democratic Caucus, August 7, 2017
The Hawaii Legislature is hosting a public informational briefing on state funding for the City & County of Honolulu’s rail project at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 in the State Capitol auditorium
Key committee chairs from both the House of Representatives and the State Senate have been meeting to discuss rail funding and lawmakers want to hear from the public as they work on an agreement on rail financing.
The City administration and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will also update financial issues at the briefing.
“Rail is at a critical point in its construction and the Legislature wants to hear the public’s input on the funding mechanisms and how to ensure greater accountability from HART and the City on their rail project. We need the most accurate financial information to make the best decision possible,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki.
The leaders of the two chambers have reaffirmed their commitment to resolve the outstanding rail financing issues.
“In spite of our impasse during the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature understands the importance in crafting a legislative solution that will provide the City and County of Honolulu a dedicated revenue stream to adhere to the Full Funding Grant Agreement and complete construction of the Minimum Operable Segment of the rail project,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi.
Lawmakers are also considering a special legislative session to address rail financing.
Testimony for the public briefing must be submitted via email to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy at TRETestimony@capitol.hawai.gov. Testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to the start of the informational briefing.
For more information, go to the Legislature’s web site or call the Committee Clerk at (808) 586-6697.