Counties settle for $10M bump in hotel tax share

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's four counties will receive a total of $10 million more in annual hotel tax revenue under a plan state lawmakers have approved.

Since 2011, the counties' share has been capped at $93 million. They had sought a return to splitting 44.8 percent of the state's transient accommodations taxes. That would have brought in an estimated $72 million more for the counties next year.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that state lawmakers decided to raise the cap rather than revive the old sharing structure.

Rep. Tom Brower, a Democrat representing Waikiki and Ala Moana, tells the paper the bill will also fund a study of how visitors use county resources. He says any future raises might require that counties demonstrate the money will pay for county operations used by visitors.

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