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GET Collections for Rail Come in Higher than Projected

GET Collections for Rail Come in Higher than Projected

Revenue from the General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge
targeted for Honolulu’s rail transit project has come in higher
than what was projected in the project’s most recent financial
plan.

The GET revenue for the final quarter of fiscal year 2011 came
in at $49.8 million, totaling $179. 1 million, or 9 percent higher
for the fiscal year, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
(HART) officials reported in today’s board of directors meeting.
The latest figures put the total GET surcharge collections to date
at $715 million-$15 million more than projected.

“This is good news, particularly in this difficult economy,”
said Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Interim Executive
Director Toru Hamayasu. “We’re doing better than we had anticipated
in our updated financial plan. Strong GET collections will help us
keep our finances on track and deliver this project on time and on
budget.”

“The news is encouraging because it continues to validate the
overall financial plan,” said HART Finance Committee Chairman Don
Horner. “Equally important, the overall total bid costs to date are
actually below the project’s financial estimates.With 40 percent of
the costs known, the project remains on a sound financial
footing.”

The Hawaii State Legislature in 2005 authorized the counties to
adopt a halfpercent surcharge on the GET for public transportation
projects. The Honolulu City Council then passed an ordinance
enacting the surcharge and establishing that it be used exclusively
for the rail transit project. In January 2007 the state began
collecting the surcharge on behalf of the City. The surcharge is
set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022.

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