Bill 40, which is set to be debated and then voted on in committee Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2005, at the Honolulu City Council, will represent the biggest tax increase ever in the history of Hawaii should it pass the committee on Tuesday and final reading on Aug. 10, 2005.
Hawaii already has the overall highest tax burden in the nation.
The real danger of the bill, besides the imposing drain on the taxpayers, who will have to pay at least 12.5 percent more on the transaction of goods and services, is the bill allows the mayor to go ahead and build the Kapolei to Waipahu segment of the rail transit line under state environmental laws — HRS 343.
The mayor will need no federal FEIS approvals, he will merely have the governor sign off on a hastily prepared state FEIS, bludgeon council members into approving a $500 million bond issue for this segment, and then go ahead and build it.
Thus, we will be faced with having invested up to $1 billion of city funds and a totally incomplete and worthless rail line from Kapolei to Waipahu, which will end up costing taxpayers potentially billions of dollars more.
The public will then clamor for its completion to at least Downtown if not to University of Hawaii in Manoa, costing even more money.
This will be a financial nightmare; it is the same scam that Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris tried to use with the IOS portion of the failed Bus Rapid Transit plan; get a foot in the door and it will get finished. All in the name of besting Jeremy Harris.
Make sure to testify on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Honolulu Hale at 9 a.m. and on Aug. 10, 2005.
Your voice can make a difference. Learn how to contact your council members by logging onto http://www.honolulutraffic.com
”’HonoluluTraffic.com, formerly The Alliance for Traffic Improvement, is a Hawaii-based group of private transportation companies and citizens who seek practical and affordable solutions to Hawaii’s traffic problems. See more at”’ http://www.honolulutraffic.com
”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com