Counties settle for $10M bump in hotel-tax share
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s four counties will receive a total of $10 million more in annual hotel-tax revenue under a plan state lawmakers have approved.
Since 2011, the counties’ share has been capped at $93 million. They had sought a return to splitting 44.8 percent of the state’s transient accommodations taxes. That arrangement would have brought in an estimated $72 million more for the counties next year, or about a 77 percent raise.
State lawmakers decided to raise the cap rather than revive the old sharing structure.
Of the $10 million bump, Honolulu will get $4.4 million, Maui County will get $2.3 million, Hawaii County will see $2 million and Kauai County will get $2 million.
County officials have argued that they should receive a larger share of the revenues because they bear the brunt of providing services such as police, roads, and water and sewer systems that visitors use.
Rep. Tom Brower, a Democrat representing Waikiki and Ala Moana, told the paper the bill will also pay for a study of how visitors use county resources. Any future raises might require that counties demonstrate the money will pay for county operations used by visitors, Brower said.
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa issued a statement Saturday saying that the extra hotel-tax funds, along with some budget cuts, will stave off the need for an increase in property taxes next year. Earlier, he had proposed property tax increases that averaged out to a 6.5 percent overall hike.
The bump still leaves Honolulu looking at other solutions — including possible property tax increases — to fund its $2.1 billion operating budget.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.