Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, October 29, 2018
GOP: Vote 'No' on Bill 42 Rail Ripoff
By Brett Kulbis @ 6:16 PM :: 5285 Views :: Rail, Republican Party


News Release from Honolulu County Republican Party  October 28, 2018

Honolulu, Hawaii - I am testifying on behalf of the Honolulu County Republican Party in total opposition to Bill 42 and any associated resolutions that involves the use of city (a.k.a. Oahu taxpayer) funds for rail.  This precedent-setting measure gives Mayor Caldwell and the HART Board and you on the City Council a “blank check” for adding fees and increasing Oahu property taxes for rail construction and operations.  The Honolulu County Republican Party has taken a position opposing any new legislation that leads to additional collections above the HART estimated $9.3 billion through 2030 -- the very same project that voters in 2008 were promised right before the election would not cost more than $5 billion. (Honolulu Starbulletin - October 31, 2008 - The Rail Impact)

Ordinance 07-001 states, “capital cost and any interest to finance that capital cost shall be paid entirely from general excise and use tax surcharge revenues, interest earned on the revenues, and any federal, state, or private revenues,” Bill 42 violates this ordinance by changing all the rules that taxpayers were explicitly promised would protect them.  The General Excise Tax, initially implemented for 16 years of collections, has now been extended twice to a total of 24 years.  While the 2017 state “BAIL-OUT” for rail, Act 1, extended the General Excise Tax to 2030, further burdening taxpayers; it also added one percent for 13 years for rail spending to the Transient Accommodations Tax; burdening tourism statewide to help pay for Honolulu’s beleaguered rail construction project.  At this point, all taxpayers were led to believe that this behind-schedule, over-budget project finally had the adequate amount of money for completion.  Clearly, we have been duped by our elected officials and by the rail industry which so generously funds the campaigns of these same elected officials.

The Hawaii State Legislature did add other provisions in Act 1 because of its members’ expressed displeasure with the performance of both the city administration and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.  One provision called for a state audit, which has been under way for some months—and the State Auditor has encountered well-publicized difficulties in trying to complete his job because of impediments from HART. Without full transparency of all collections and expenditures, suspicions have arisen about potential culpability and calls have now been made for a forensic audit.  We agree with those calls and insist that any audit be completed before another penny is allocated from any revenue source.  If incompetence by HART and/or inaction due to dysfunction by the Honolulu City Council has caused the FTA to become rightfully impatient, then so be it.  Taxpayers are tired of paying for your mistakes and weary of endless blank checks.

Act 1’s other provision specified identifying “alternative routes and development options and the projected costs for each alternative route and development option for the Middle Street to Ala Moana segment of transit project.”  Not surprisingly, no information has been made public on any alternatives because of the tunnel vision exhibited by highly partisan rail supporters and the self-dealing rail industry.  But the Honolulu County Republican Party knows that a myriad of options other than costly, heavy, steel-on-steel rail do in fact exist and must be sincerely explored. Now that the federal subsidy is no longer a whopping one-third of the project costs and is merely one-eighth of the ever-higher total construction cost, let’s not be rushed as usual by the desire for federal dollars for rail.  Let’s get this right so that overtaxed Oahu resident are ultimately satisfied with a finished project that was once projected at just $3 billion for the entire 34-mile system but will probably cost closer to $20 billion when the planned Waikiki, UH Manoa, and West Kapolei extensions provided in the City Charter and LPA are realized.

#  #  #  #  #


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii