Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on the Honolulu Rail Project

Bob Marx, the lone neighbor island candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District, calls the proposed Honolulu Rail Project (HART) irresponsible.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Speaking to a group of students near the University of Hawai‘i – Hilo, Marx stated: “I stand with former Governor Cayetano in his opposition to the proposed Honolulu Rail Project. Increasing the debt for Honolulu and writing it off on rural Oahu, the neighbor islands, and our future generations is not only fiscally irresponsible but impractical.”

According to newly released Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services, Hawai‘i ranks first in the amount of debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product and second in debt per capita: almost $8000 for every man, woman and child in the state.

“As usual, the City of Honolulu will again ask the rest of the State to pick up its tab on bloated spending projects. Importing steel from Europe will not create jobs for Hawai‘i. Working class people on Oahu have been hit hard enough already by the economic downturn, and raising taxes on them is not the solution. As a small business owner, I know the devastating effect that even a 1/2 percent excise tax increase can have on a business.”

General excise taxes are paid by businesses on gross receipts, not on revenue. Therefore, even businesses that are losing money would be asked to pay more. Documents presented by former Governor Cayetano and his supporters at a press conference yesterday outlined the questionable nature of the project’s proposed job creation statistics.

And just how will a Honolulu rail project help citizens living on the neighbor islands and the rest of Oahu? “Former Mayor Hannemann already hit rural Oahu with a 1/2 percent tax increase to fund Honolulu projects, and then abandoned them to pursue his political ambitions. It’s no secret where his priorities lie,” Marx added.

A lawsuit filed in 2011 by former Governor Cayetano and Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends states that the city’s jobs forecasts are very misleading. Marx agrees, saying: “The lack of foresight for this project rests not on the hands of Mayor Carlisle but on his predecessor. Mayor Carlisle has been forced to make tough decisions, including reducing Police, Flood Control, and Erosion Protection budgets.

“This was Mufi’s project, and was poorly handled from the onset. Now he wants the voters of Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District to give him the reigns to mismanage the neighbor islands as well.”

Bob Marx is a Democratic Candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District.

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