Political Radar


March 28th, 2014

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday moved out a bill that would lift the $93 million annual cap on the counties' share of hotel-room tax revenue. But senators issued warnings that the Legislature might not be able to give counties what they want because of the state's ongoing budget concerns.

Sen. David Ige, the committee's chairman, noted that the bill would have a significant impact on future state revenue.

Senate Vice President Ronald Kouchi, a former Kauai County Councilman, questioned whether counties should get a share of the higher hotel-room tax, which was raised to help the state get through the recession. The Legislature increased the tax to 9.25 percent -- up from 7.25 percent -- and then last year made the increase permanent.

Kouchi suggested that if the annual cap is lifted, counties should only get to share a slice of the 7.25 percent.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell attended the hearing, a sign that county mayors view the bill as a priority. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa repeated this week that if Maui does not get a greater share of hotel-room tax revenue, the county would have to raise taxes.

8 Responses to “Doubts”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    About it.

  2. ohiaforest3400:


  3. ohiaforest3400:

    I can't believe I did that. I was weak. I succumbed.

  4. Especially Incognito:


  5. Kolea:

    Why should the counties not have the ability to tack on their own TAT to hotel rooms and vacation rentals. How much "sovereignty" can the counties have if they cannot raise revenues except through taxing property? Clearly, the counties are bearing a great deal of expense in maintaining the roads, sewers, parks, which serve tourists. It is not just the state which bears these costs.

    There is some merit in having a statewide, standardized TAT, so the states are not forced into a bidding war where each cuts the TAT in order to try to attract more tourists. But why should they not be able to tax the tourists and/or the industry directly to help transfer the costs to them?

  6. Especially Incognito:

    Tax those not born and raised in Hawaii.
    Make them show their birth certificates...

  7. demokay:

    tax the death out of everything!

  8. Especially Incognito:

    Tax payers pay for both parties, republican and democrats but
    required to pay for tea party, which is a 5 year old baby that
    was born to upset.

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