Saturday, October 1, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, July 23, 2010
Will rail plan collapse before November?
By News Release @ 2:09 AM :: 8346 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

Is the elevated railway in its death throes?

From www.HonoluluTraffic.com

Obviously, our former Mayor and now gubernatorial aspirant, Mufi Hannemann, must keep the elevated railway alive until after the November elections. Hannemann even declared that he had made sure before resigning as mayor "that no future mayor, no future City Council, can reverse the course we are embarking upon" with the rail project.

This is pure and simple braggadocio — strutting his stuff to the November election. Note that he did not mention the Federal Transit Administration or the current Governor.

The FTA has said that the City’s current financial plan is insufficiently robust to warrant entry into the next stage, Final Design. The Governor has said that she needs to see a plan that is robust enough to warrant entry before she will “accept” the Final EIS.

Mufi can continue this standoff by not having the City produce a new financial plan; Caldwell will do what he is told. Mufi can then continue to blame the Governor for holding up the project while deflecting blame from himself.

As we have written before (see our “misstatements” entry on July 17), the financial plan cannot be made robust enough without some highly improbable event whereby some hundreds of millions are dropped in the City’s lap. Not likely. They only have two real sources of funds — the GE Tax surcharge and federal funds. The GE tax is shaky and the fed funds are maxed out.

In 2006, the City forecast it would collect $759 million from the GE tax surcharge during fiscal years 2007-2010 ending June 30, 2010. It actually collected $536 million, 30 percent less than projected.

The three full fiscal years of tax collections have shown continuing declines — $169 million in 2008, $161 million in 2009 and $158 million in 2010.

While the Mayor and the Star Advertiser headlined record tax collections, that is editorial, not news. The news is that for the last quarter ending June 30, 2010, which included the record month, collections declined by 11 percent compared to the year earlier. This is why the Federal Transit Administration and the Governor want an independent projection of GE Tax collections.

At the moment, without using bus funds, the City is at the very least $300 million short. Mufi said yesterday, “Bus service will not be compromised; we will not use the bus fund for this rail transit system.” He can say that but the fact is, that the City’s formal financial plan given to the FTA plans to use bus funds.

Add to this the lack of progress on the Section 106 Programmatic Agreement regarding historic properties and native Hawaiian burial grounds. Then on top of that is the City’s agreement with EPA to spend $4.7 billion on our sewer systems. FTA is already worried about “competing demands on funding sources.” On top of that comes the revelation (see below) that our working age population, which is to say commuters, is declining. What does that do to ridership projections?

We do not see how rail proponents can overcome all this. However, all this delay will get Mufi to a safe haven beyond the November election. Then he can easily rationalize why the elevated railway did not happen.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life 

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT