HART receives $64.8 million in GET revenue for rail construction
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, October 26, 2015
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will receive $64.8 million in General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge revenue for this past quarter, bringing the total GET collections to date to $1.58 billion.
The latest GET installment, which covers the months of July, August and September, was $8.3 million higher than what was estimated for the quarter based on the project’s Financial Plan.
“While this quarter’s GET installment is good news, we are mindful of the fact that our overall GET revenue collections remain $30.5 million below projections,” said HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas. “Although that shortfall amounts to roughly 1 percent of our overall budget, on a project of this size it is significant.”
The half-percent GET surcharge for Oahu, which by law can only be used for the rail project, began in January 2007.
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See-saw tax revenue collections puzzle Honolulu rail officials
Star-Adv: Officials overseeing Honolulu’s rail tax revenues continue to be confounded by the project’s revenue collection, whose performance has see-sawed from quarter to quarter.
Rail officials announced Monday that for the months of July, August and September the transit project will receive $64.8 million from Oahu’s general excise tax surcharge to fund construction. That’s $8.3 million more than what the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation had expected to take in for the quarter, based on the project’s financial plan.
It also represents a positive swing when compared to the equally negative swing in the previous quarter. For April, May and June GET revenues were exactly $8.3 million below what was projected in the financial plan, according to HART.
In the two quarters before that, rail’s GET revenues came in more than $1 million and $9 million above what the financial plan had projected, respectively. State Department of Taxation officials have pointed to a lag in processing tax returns as a key reason for the swings. HART officials, meanwhile, said Monday that they still don’t fully understand what’s causing the swings.
Despite all the fluctuating, GET collections for rail remain overall $30.5 million below projections. HART officials further expect that gap in collections to swell to $100 million by the end of construction.
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