Hawaii excise tax revenues up 11 percent

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a sign of economic recovery for Hawaii, the state reports excise tax revenues for the first seven months of the current fiscal year are up 11.3 percent from the same juncture in the last budget cycle.

Hawaii's excise tax attaches to most goods and services transactions, wholesale and retail, by businesses and consumers alike, making it a proxy for all economic activity. An 11 percent increase is four times the rate of inflation.

Excise tax receipts for January topped $265 million, the Hawaii Department of Taxation reported Wednesday.

Total tax receipts of all sorts since the fiscal year began last July 1 are almost $3.2 billion up 12.1 percent from the same time a year ago.

This includes almost 16 percent more paid in state income taxes and 13.5 percent more revenue from the transient accommodations tax, better known as the hotel tax.

Senate President Donna Kim and Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney oppose a proposal by Gov. Abercrombie to raise the hotel tax. The tax revenue update shows the existing hotel tax rate is returning about $23 million more revenue so far than in the last budget cycle.