Hawaii teachers want to raise taxes for education

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii teachers want state lawmakers to increase funding for education by raising the general excise tax.

The House Committee on Economic Development and Business approved a bill Tuesday to increase the general excise tax by 1% after hearing several teachers testify about the challenges of providing quality education.

The bill still has two more committees to go through but if passed, it would increase how much consumers pay for most goods and services in Hawaii. The current tax is 4%, with a 0.5% surcharge on Oahu.

Numerous teachers testified that deteriorating infrastructure, high student-to-teacher ratios and low salaries are some of many challenges they face in providing quality education.

Just three people submitted testimony opposing the bill, including the state Department of Budget and Finance.

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