Big Island mayor presses council for sales tax increase

Big Island mayor presses council for sales tax increase

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The Big Island mayor is pushing officials to approve a half-cent general excise tax surcharge, saying the revenue would be double what officials initially calculated.

West Hawaii Today reports Mayor Harry Kim announced this week that the surcharge would bring the Big Island $50 million annually, instead of the $25 million previously projected.

County Finance Director Deanna Sako says the higher revenue stems from a more accurate calculation issued by the state Department of Taxation.

Kim says the island's current budget proposal of $515.7 million allows only the bare minimum for maintenance of existing roads, parks and other projects. He says revenue from the current general excise taxes goes to the state.

The council in February postponed action on the tax increase to no later than May.

Information from: West Hawaii Today,

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