City Reports Local Revenue for Honolulu Rail Project ‘Holding Firm’


Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced May 19 the Honolulu Rail Transit Project has received 99.6 percent of its expected revenue from the General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge for rail transit.

As of April, the City had received $499.3 million in surcharge revenue. The Project’s August 2009 financial plan anticipates $501.5 million in revenue during the same period.

“This is excellent news that bodes well for the future of the rail project,” said Mayor Hannemann. “GET revenues are on track despite the state of the economy, and we have saved $90 million in construction costs for the first rail contract. We could realize additional savings on three major rail contracts that will be awarded later this year.”

Hannemann noted that net GET surcharge to the City in March totaled $16.3 million.

“That is an encouraging sign for the rail project and is an early indication that Honolulu’s economy is getting stronger.”

The rail project’s GET projections and financial plan have been scrutinized and validated by the Federal Transit Administration, the agency’s independent oversight contractors as well as leaders with the Hawaii Business Roundtable. The Roundtable called the rail project’s financial plan conservatively prepared.

Authorized by the Hawaii Legislature and the Honolulu City Council, the one-half percent GET surcharge began in 2007 and ends in 2022. It is expected to generate about $3.5 billion for the rail project. The surcharge can only be used for rail construction and operations.

Bill Brennan issued this report for the mayor