Bill Expected to Drop Gas Prices

(KHNL) - There is great news for drivers in Hawaii.  You can soon expect the cost of gas to drop!

Gas prices will be coming down and it's thanks to a bill signed Tuesday by Governor Linda Lingle.

It's actually one of three measures that received her signature.

The first reinstates an exemption from the general excise tax on gasoline blended with ethanol.

That's expected to cause prices to fall between 12 and 15 cents per gallon at the pump.

The new law takes effect on Sunday.

Also under the measure, any gas producers, wholesaler or retailer who dies not pass on the savings will face a  $100,00 dollar fine.

The governor also signed a bill Tuesday providing food tax credits for low and middle-income families in Hawaii.

The current income threshold to receive the credit is $20,000.  The new measure raises that amount to $50,000.

Still, it's in contrast to what the Lingle administration had proposed.

They wanted to eliminate the general excise tax on 11 basic food groups, such as dairy products , eggs and cereal.

And a third measure signed into law will provide a one-time tax refund.  But only 60-percent of Hawaii taxpayers will receive it.

The senate bill only applies to joint filers and heads of households earning less than $60,000 a year.

And for single filers, the credit will not be given to anyone who makes $30,000 or more.

The minimum refund per household will be $25 and the maximum will be $160.

But those who qualify, shouldn't expect to receive that money until next year.

The governor says lawmakers actually missed an opportunity to provide significant tax relief,

Under her proposal, a $100 refund would have gone to every Hawaii family making less than $100,000.