Honolulu rail tax surcharge revenue beats forecast

HONOLULU (AP) - A surcharge on the state's general excise tax generated more money than expected last quarter for Honolulu's planned rail line.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said in a news release Monday the project received just over $49 million in general excise tax surcharge revenue from October through December.

That's about one-third more than the nearly $37 million estimated in the project's financial plan.

The revenue lifts the total collected from the surcharge to more than $810 million.

Since 2007, Oahu transactions are taxed by a surcharge on top of the state's general excise tax.

The surcharge amounts to a half-cent for every dollar spent. The revenue is to be used exclusively for Honolulu's planned rail transit project.

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