Transient Accommodations Tax bill dies, mayors rejoice - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Transient Accommodations Tax bill dies, mayors rejoice

By Holly Juscen – bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a victory for Hawaii's four mayors early Saturday morning as lawmakers announced they had killed House bill 2598. The Transient Accommodation Tax bill would have taken millions of dollars in hotel room tax money from the counties to help balance the state budget by putting it in the state general fund.

All four of Hawaii's mayors were present at the state capital during the conference committee meeting that ran thirty minutes past the midnight deadline. The mayors were putting pressure on lawmakers to keep the hotel room tax money intact and were very pleased with the outcome.

"We are very happy with the legislatures decision. This is good news for the counties, keeping the TAT as is. We were here lobbying since 7 o'clock this morning and it paid off, " said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

"We want to thank all of the members of the House of Representatives and of the state senate. We know they have to make tough decisions during one of the most difficult economic times in history and we thank them for reserving the revenues for the counties," said Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi.

The mayors said that if the bill had passed, they would had to cut county services and raise property taxes. House Finance Chair, Marcus Oshiro said lawmakers were able to come up with the money they need to balance the budget by raising different taxes, using some of the Medicaid expense line and some of the 'Health Care for All America' money which was enacted by Congress.

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