Counties cope with modest bump in hotel tax share

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The bump in hotel tax revenue that state lawmakers offered Hawaii's counties this legislative session was a glass-half-empty raise.

Mayors wanted a return to a 44.8 percent share of the transient accommodations tax. That model would have generated an estimated $165 million for the counties to split in fiscal 2013. Instead state lawmakers raised the cap on the counties' share from $93 million to $103 million.

The mayors would have preferred $62 million more, but they're putting the $10 million to use.

Hawaii County is dedicating its share toward future health care liabilities for public employees. Maui and Honolulu counties are fending off increases in real property taxes. Kauai County's share will plug part of a budget shortfall it is reckoning with this week.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.