Hawai‘i State Senate Passes Rail Bill
Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate passed Senate Bill 4 yesterday on third reading by a vote of 16-9 to provide funding to complete the construction of the City and County of Honolulu’s rail transit project.
SB4 addresses the City and County of Honolulu’s rail construction shortfall of $2.378 billion by extending the General Excise Tax on O‘ahu for three additional years through Dec. 31, 2030, which will provide $1.046 billion.
SB4 also raises the state’s Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) by 1% to 10.25% for 13 years, to Dec. 31, 2030.
This will provide $1.326 billion.
SB4 permanently increases the counties’ share of the TAT from $93 million to $103 million.
The measure reduces the State Department of Taxation’s administrative fee on the GET surcharge from 10% to 1%.
The measure creates a Mass Transit Special Fund to review and disburse funds to the city for its costs on the rail project. It also requires a state run audit of the rail project and annual financial reviews.
SB4 now crosses over to the House for their consideration.
A complete schedule of the hearings can be viewed at www.capitol.hawaii.gov.