(BIVN) – With little to no discussion, the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday passed Bill 19 on final reading, raising the general excise tax another quarter percent to one-half percent.
Mayor Harry Kim was in the audience, but did not speak.
The only person to testify at the meeting in Hilo opposed the measure.
According to information provided by the administration, the new surcharge would generate an estimated $50 million per year, and by law the collected revenue must be applied to transportation-related costs.
Mayor Kim joined and Finance Director Deanna Sako in the council chambers in early February to give a presentation on the proposed tax. A public hearing was held on February 19 and the bill passe first reading the next day.
On Wednesday, the council voted in support of the bill 7-0. Councilmembers Tim Richards and Valerie Poindexter were absent.