Mayor to offer transit tax solution
The plan is unlikely to resolve a conflict with Lingle's position
Mayor Mufi Hannemann was scheduled to announce today his plan to resolve the transit tax collection disagreement with the state.
Hannemann said yesterday that things were "still very fluid" as he and his staff worked out the final details before today's announcement in Kapolei.
What is clear is that the mayor doesn't like Gov. Linda Lingle's proposal for the city to enter into a contract with the computer vendor charged with upgrading the state's automated system to collect the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for the city's mass transit project.
"I think we've made our objections known, of the city being party to the contract. I always had reservations about that," Hannemann said.
The mayor's proposal might not bode well either for a resolution that the City Council is scheduled to take up in a special meeting tomorrow, a measure that supports the governor's plan.
The mayor is apparently looking instead to what he proposed two weeks ago, when he asked the City Council to approve a $5 million guarantee that would allow the state to move ahead with the collection of the new tax, which is to start Jan. 1.
"The basic concept is that the city will front-end the guarantee (of $5 million to a vendor)," the mayor said.
"Even on this, some legislators thought we shouldn't be fronting the money, and I've made a fundamental decision that we're going to do it, because I can't wait," said Hannemann, who met with lawmakers Monday.
Hannemann said he's also still trying to figure out whether the guarantee should come from the current operating budget that ends June 30, or next fiscal year's budget, which begins July 1.
"I've set a deadline that by (today) you're pretty much going to know, because the Council is going to have to vote (tomorrow)," he said. "We'll have a proposal on the table."