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POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2009

HAWAII

Pasha Hawaii stands pat on fuel fee

Pasha Hawaii, which transports vehicles between Honolulu and San Diego, said yesterday it will keep its fuel surcharge at 12.5 percent and not follow Matson Navigation's lead last week in raising fees.

General Manager Reggie Maldonado said that Pasha “;will continue to review the situation and react accordingly.”;

Last week, Matson, citing a 10 percent increase in bunker fuel prices since November, announced it would boost its fuel surcharge 1.5 percentage points for its Hawaii service to 16.5 percent from 15 percent, effective May 24.

Horizon Lines, which has been at 15 percent, has not announced any decision yet.

 

Prudential extends $8,000 tax offer

Prudential Locations is extending its offer of up to $8,000 in tax credits in advance to qualified first-time homebuyers until the end of May.

The real estate firm is offering the credit in advance for purchases that go into escrow between April 1 and May 31. Bill Chee, chief executive of Prudential Locations, refers to it as the “;Stimulus Plan,”; and says it would help homeowners pay for home improvements or other expenses now, when they need it most.

Qualified homebuyers must meet federal requirements and be pre-approved by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage of Hawaii. The amount is interest-free, and does not need to be repaid to Prudential Locations until April 15, 2010. A first-time homebuyer seminar is being held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at Prudential's Diamond Head office.

 

Queen's bonds earn high marks

Bond ratings agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service have given the Queen's Health Systems solid marks on its financials.

S&P assigned an A+ underlying rating to the approximate $80 million state Department of Budget and Finance series 2009A and 2009B special-purpose revenue refunding bonds issued for Queen's. In addition, S&P affirmed its A+ rating on Queen's 2003A-C and series 2006 A-C bonds and the A-1 short-term rating on Queen's taxable commercial paper.

S&P said its A+ rating reflected a strong balance sheet with a significant investment and real estate portfolio with cash and investments of more than $500 million as of Jan. 31.

Moody's assigned A1 underlying ratings to Queen's 2009 A&B variable rate revenue bonds and also affirmed A1 long-term and underlying ratings on Queen's outstanding parity debt with a “;stable”; outlook.

 

General excise tax deadlines today

The deadline for monthly and quarterly state general excise tax filers is today.

The deadline for semi-annual filers is July 31.

An electronic filing system, which performs math calculations, is available. To file GET returns electronically, go to www.hawaii.gov/tax and click on “;E-Services.”;

Taxpayers who do not wish to file electronically may fill out the tax booklet that came in the mail or complete the form online, print and mail it. Go to www.hawaii.gov/tax and clim “;Forms.”;

Call 587-4242 or (800) 222-3229.