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BY NATALIE IWASA – Why are contracts for the rail project going to subcontractors who are not registered and/or licensed with the state of Hawaii?

And how much are we losing in state general excise tax (GET) and county surcharge taxes, which go directly toward the funding of the rail project, because of that?

According the financial report the city filed with the Honolulu City Council on July 8, 2010, (communication D-0587(10)), the following are included in the list of businesses that received rail contracts:

  • R&R Partners, Inc. $137,500;
  • Williams and Jensen PC $200,000; and
  • Williams and Jensen PPLC (sic) $330,000.

A search of the state’s department of tax website indicates these businesses are not licensed, and that equates to a potential loss of GET and surcharge revenue of over $30,000.

This is not new information.  Councilmember Kobayashi brought this issue up at the January 12 meeting of the transportation committee and has been asking questions about rail consultant contracts for many months.

It’s time for the state to follow up on these contractors and for the county to implement procedures to verify businesses are properly registered and licensed so this does not continue to happen.

Natalie Iwasa is a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii

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