Hawaii counties sue state to block tax ballot question

Hawaii counties sue state to block tax ballot question
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii counties are seeking to block a ballot question that would amend the state constitution to give the Legislature the power to tax investment real estate to fund schools.

The state's four counties filed an amended complaint against Hawaii Wednesday, claiming the ballot question is vague, misleading and deceptive.

Under current state law, only counties have the power to levy property taxes.

County officials say the question's wording isn't clear enough for voters to understand that it would give additional taxing power to the Legislature. They also claim it could hurt counties' ability to raise revenue to fund services and infrastructure projects.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has backed the question, saying it would support teachers and underfunded schools.

The November ballot is scheduled to be printed next week.

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