HONOLULU HARBOR (KHNL) - California's Assembly has passed a shipping-container bill that could cost Hawaii consumers some serious money.
Hawaii's leaders are now intensifying their fight to stop the bill. Under the bill, Hawaii shippers would be charged an extra fee to bring goods from three of California's ports to the Honolulu Harbor .
Officials say that's money that would be passed on to our state's consumers.
A Chopper 8 view of Honolulu Harbor, shows containers used to ship Hawaii's goods. Under a proposed bill, California would charge $60 for each container that passes through the ports in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
"We see it as a tax on the people of Hawaii. Basically, taxing containers that come out of the ports in California to Hawaii and about 90% of our product comes out of the ports in California so it has a major impact on all of us," said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President Jim Tollefson.
In a statement, Congressman Neil Abercrombie said "The California legislation would unfairly tax the pocketbooks of consumers in Hawaii and Alaska, but not consumers in the 48 contiguous states. That's because Hawaii-bound shipments from Asia will come from California ports. Those containers will be taxed twice; once to enter California ports, and a second time to leave."
"The Chamber of Commerce has been working on this for one year now, testifying last year at the State Assembly in California and we continue this quest right now to, in effect, kill this bill or to have it modified to such a point that it does not impact us here in Hawaii," said Tollefson.
The bill is intended to clean up its air pollution. Critics say Hawaii shouldn't have to pay for California's environmental problems. If the bill passes, the fee takes effect in January.
Under the bill, Hawaii shippers would be charged an extra fee to bring goods from three of California's ports to the Honolulu Harbor