(BIVN) – Governor David Ige livestreamed the signing of Senate Bill 4 into law on Tuesday, following a short but divisive special session on funding the Honolulu rail project.
“This is a strategic investment in Hawai‘i’s future. We must move this forward and complete this project,” said Gov. Ige.
The governor signed SB 4 after completing legal and policy reviews of the bill over the weekend. The new law extends O‘ahu’s general excise tax surcharge to 2030, an additional three years. It also increases the state-wide hotel room tax by one percent (10.25 percent) for the next 13 years.
“I have heard the concerns of leaders and residents in Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i and Maui counties,” Gov. Ige said in an attempt to address the concerns that plagued the bill through the special legislative session. “I recognize the uniqueness of each county and the fiscal challenges they face, with main revenue sources being property taxes and the TAT. I understand why they would like to see more support from the visitor industry and I intend to work with the county mayors, county councils and the Legislature on a fair distribution of the TAT.”
House Speaker Scott Saiki’s had this statement following the bill signing.
“SB 4 sufficiently funds the rail project’s completion to Ala Moana. The public’s and the legislature’s patience has been exhausted due to ballooning costs and delays,” Saiki said. “To make the rail project successful, the City (inclusive of HART) must do two things: First, it must contain costs. Second, it must increase public confidence in the rail project by substantially stronger oversight and management.”