Hawaii News Digest, 27 August 2017, 15:10 hrs, UTC, Post #15494.
Reporter: Nancy Cook Lauer (West Hawaii Today).
Accessed on 27 August 2017, 15:10 hrs, UTC.
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Hawaii County officials, the hotel industry, the chambers of commerce, and all four Hawaii Island State Senators are opposing Bill 4, which would require neighbor island residents to support the financially troubled Honolulu Light Rail project.
Proponents of the bill claim that local government will hardly feel the small 1% increase in the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT), while opponents say “neighbor islands shouldn’t be taxed for a Honolulu project.”
In a letter to local legislators, William Walter, the president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, says we shouldn’t have to pay for the financial troubles of the Oahu project:
“Uncomfortable as it is to point out, the shortfall is primarily the result of management decisions made by an agency of the City and County of Honolulu. Neighbor islands were not part of either the management or the process,” said William Walter, president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, in a Thursday letter to Big Island legislators. “Asking the residents and visitors of the neighbor islands to pay for this process gone awry is not reasonable.”
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Hawaii News Digest