Rep. Richard H. K. Onishi’s Response to Questions on Special Session on Honolulu Rapid Transit System

Representative Richard H.K. Onishi

Mr. Tucker,

Thank you for your inquiry, as you know, there are many issues involved in deciding how to fund the Honolulu City & County’s rail project, including the total cost projection, funding from HC&C, Federal funding, public/private partnerships, GET funds, TAT funds, etc. Since there has been no formal proposed bill, your questions are hypothetic options and, may or may not be sufficient to fund the project and there may be combinations of funding methods. I believe that the prudent thing to do is to reserve my comments until after I have seen the proposed bill and have had a chance to ask my questions to the proposers on the details of the project cost and the amount of funding that each source would provide and its potential effect on our residents and tourist. I am also very concern that there needs to be included a method to have the HC&C more accountable for the cost and how the funds are being spent.

Mahalo,
Richard H. K. Onishi


Aloha Rep. Onishi,

Mahalo for representing the Big Island in legislative issues. I have some questions for you folks and hope you will respond to me by Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Questions:
1. Will you vote YES or NO on a 1% STATEWIDE increase to the Transient Accommodations Tax (9.25% to 10.25%) to help fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System in the upcoming legislative special session?
If your answer is YES, please explain why? If your answer is NO, please explain why?
2. Would you support a 6 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% from 2027 to 2034 if this will help fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?
YES or NO
3. Would you support an increase of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% to 0.62% and a 3 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge from 2028 to 2030 if this will fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?
YES or NO
Thank you for your participation in this quick and important decision that will affect all of us on this island.

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