Bill Passes to Increase Big Island Share of TAT Revenues

The Hawai‘i House Finance Committee today passed Senate Bill 648 SD1 HD1, which will increase the amount of the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) revenues for the neighbor islands.

The amended bill provides an additional $36 million to support projects essential for neighbor island residents including:

  • Increasing Hawai‘i Island’s TAT revenues from $19,158,000 to $31,248,000.
  • Increasing Kaua‘i’s TAT revenues from $14,935,000 to $24,360,000.
  • Increasing Maui’s TAT revenues from $23,484,000 to $38,304,000.

The TAT amount for the City & County of Honolulu is unchanged for a total of $45.4 million per year.

The TAT is paid by hotel guests to the State and allocated to several groups, including the counties, to pay for visitor released expenses.

During the 2017 Special Legislative Session, lawmakers voted to raise the TAT by 1% to immediately address the shortfall of Oʻahu’s rail project. At that time, House leaders discussed the possibility of revisiting proposals to increase TAT revenues for the neighbor islands.

House Speaker Scott K. Saiki credited neighbor island Representatives with working to find ways to provide more funding for the neighbor islands. Saiki said this bill is a product of their discussions.

“During the special session last summer, our neighbor island Representatives were concerned about the need to increase the counties’ share of the TAT,” said Saiki (McCully, Kāheka, Kakaʻako, Downtown). “This proposal will provide much needed financial support for the neighbor islands.”

HPD Investigates Missing Evidence: Cocaine

In October 2017, both criminal and administrative investigations were initiated after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014 was found to be lighter in weight than reported during its initial recovery.

The discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to utilize a small quantity of the cocaine for training purposes.

The investigation quickly identified a sworn employee as being a person of interest for the missing portions of the drug.

The employee was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay and subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer revealed other anomalies which revealed cases in which there was a weight discrepancy in marijuana concentrate (hashish) from two separate investigations. Those investigations had been suspended because there were no suspects.

The identified employee has since retired and is no longer employed by the county. The department has tightened up procedures in order to ensure a similar scenario cannot be repeated. The department has also conducted additional audits to ensure these incidents have not been committed by anyone else.

The criminal investigation which included consultation and collaboration with the Hawai‘i County prosecuting attorney’s office was formally referred to the prosecutor’s office for review on March 2, 2018. Because the investigation has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office, further comments regarding this matter will not be made.

T.J. Maxx Opens in Prince Kūhiō Plaza

The wait is over for Hilo residents wanting to take advantage of shopping discounts at the new T.J. Maxx store in East Hawai‘i. The store opened at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Prince Kūhiō Plaza.

Hundreds of eager customers waited in line beginning around 7:30 a.m. for a chance to get in the doors early.

T.J. Maxx officials were on hand and presented a check to HOPE Services Hawai‘i for $10,000.

The first 500 customers through the doors received T.J. Maxx recyclable shopping bags.

HAWAI'I ISLAND: T.J. MAXX Grand Opening. #BigIslandNow #BigIslandNowBusiness

Posted by BigIslandNow.com on Thursday, March 15, 2018

Regular store hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Prince Kuhio Plaza, located at 111 E Puainako St., is the island’s largest enclosed retail center.

ABOUT T.J.MAXX

Since its first store opening in 1977, T.J. Maxx has helped customers maximize what matters most in their lives by offering an ever-changing selection of high-quality, brand name and designer fashions at amazing value. T.J. Maxx is the nation’s largest off-price retailer, with more than 1,200 stores spanning 49 states and Puerto Rico. Go online or download the T.J. Maxx app to shop online and locate your nearest store.