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Lingle: Use hotel tax money for state budget

•  National News     updated  2009/12/22 20:51


Faced with a $1.2 billion budget gap, Gov. Linda Lingle on Monday proposed the state take about $100 million in hotel taxes from Hawaii's four counties next year and delay the payment of some personal and corporate income tax refunds.

The governor's supplemental budget for the 2011 fiscal year that begins July 1 does not call for wholesale layoffs or an increase in the number of furlough days state workers are already taking.

It does call for a big increase in the tax that insurance salespersons pay on their commissions and the elimination of dozens of positions in agencies that focus on mosquito control, adult mental health, family health and agricultural statistics.

But her proposal to swipe roughly between $99 million and $111 million in county hotel taxes in each of the next three fiscal years is likely to face opposition from the state's counties, which rely on the tourism-driven assessment.

Honolulu County, where the bulk of the state's tourists visit, would lose almost $45 million in the 2011 fiscal year; Maui would lose nearly $23 million; the Big Island, $18.6 million; and Kauai, $14.5 million. The Legislature must approve the transfer.




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