Hawaii Senate panel approves rail tax extension for 5 years

Published: Mar. 5, 2015 at 10:38 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2015 at 4:48 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - A state Senate panel is approving a bill extending a surcharge to the general excise tax Honolulu imposes to raise money for its rail line.

But the

Advertiser reports the Senate Ways and Means Committee trimmed the proposed extension by 20 years. The bill now extends the tax for five years instead of 25 as proposed earlier.

The committee voted 8-to-2 to pass the amended bill on Wednesday.

The bill faces several more hurdles in the state Legislature. If it's passed by the full Senate, it will go to the House for consideration.

The tax is a surcharge on the state's general excise tax. It's currently scheduled to expire in 2022.

Committee Chairwoman Jill Tokuda says the five-year extension would get the project out of a "funding hole."

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