Business Report: The rail special session

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If the legislature thinks something funny is going on, let them prove it, otherwise, don't meddle in a city project and fiddle with the financing. Let them look instead at the delays and soaring costs of airport renovations, which IS a state project.

But now it turns out, meddling state lawmakers slipped in a fiddle of their own. The Tax Foundation is suing the state over its 10% skim of the rail surcharge. The suit is still pending. But the legislature embedded in the new rail financing bill a provision concerning that. It says, if the state is ever ordered to pay that money back to the city, it will take the same amount from the city's share of the hotel tax. The Tax Foundation says the state constitution forbids making any county pay any previously accrued claim.

So at last we have a clearly improper action in connection with rail, not a rumor or guess. But it's not city officials doing it, it's state lawmakers.

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