Governor Blasts Tiny Tax Refund of $1

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- More money in your bank account. Who doesn't want that, right? But wait until you hear how much money lawmakers want to give all Hawaii taxpayers.

For the second straight year, the state has a budget surplus and under Hawaii's constitution, that means you'll be getting money back.

But don't get too excited - you'll only get $1. Last year, certain taxpayers got between $90 to $160, depending on income.

Senators who voted for the $1 tax credit say, with the softening economy, it's more responsible to withhold most of the surplus to prevent future cuts.

But Governor Linda Lingle blasts the move, saying it comes at a time when gas prices and the cost of living are skyrocketing.

One whole dollar - that's how much of the budget surplus the Legislature has decided to give back to taxpayers.

"They should do like Bush does, give me back $600," said Honolulu resident Romer Blanco.

In a statement, Governor Linda Lingle says "The token amount in this year's bill comes at a time when families in Hawaii are facing increased costs of living. On Oahu for example, the cost of gasoline, vehicle fees, property taxes, electricity and water and sewer service rose an average of 70% since 2002."

"That is kind of ridiculous. A dollar is like, why even bother? It's not even worth the effort," said Waikiki resident Leslie Stenta.

Governor Lingle says the Legislature should mimic President Bush's economic stimulus package, which gives taxpayers a $600 to $1200 federal refund. The plan aims to keep the economy from falling deep into recession.

Hawaii's Senate passed the $1 income tax credit bill without the Governor's signature. Governor Lingle

made no move to veto.

Although taxpayers will only see a $1 refund, the tax break totals more than $1 million dollars.