The question is which issue is more important. The problem is both are extremely important. The Akaka Bill stands on the verge of passage, as does the General Excise Tax Surcharge increase. Both would be bad for this state. Both are damaging in their own way and both are in a crucial time period crunch for passage. The push is on, so to speak.

Yet, what is even worse to contemplate is, if both pass. The double hit would be devastating. First of all nobody has any idea, any estimation of what taking 40 percent of the public lands off the state tax rolls and handing them to the Hawaiian Homelands Commission will result in. The loss of this tax revenue is incalculable. In the case of the county of Honolulu this is just as important, maybe more so. Losing any portion of the tax base is going to have huge impacts on a project as horrendously expensive as rail. Where is the lost money going to come from? Higher taxes?

The two issues seem unrelated but they have one element in common. Elected officials and bureaucrats aren

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