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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, June 9, 2000

State tax revenues grow 28% in May

With one month to go in its fiscal year, state tax revenues were running $118.2 million ahead of last year.

The Department of Taxation said yesterday that $267.9 million was deposited in the state general fund in May, up $58.9 million, or 28 percent, more than May 1999. The state has taken in $2.7 billion over the first 11 months of the current fiscal year for a 4.6 percent increase over the same period of fiscal 1999. The Council on Revenues in March forecast no growth in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Last month, the panel of economists revised its forecast to 3 percent growth.

HTA to take over convention center

Gov. Ben Cayetano has issued an order to close the Hawaii Convention Center Authority and have the Hawaii Tourism Authority take over its responsibilities July 1. The Legislature this year passed a bill to disband the authority but did not specify which agency should get its responsibilities.

The move puts responsibility for the center's policies, financing and management into the HTA, which already is responsible for marketing the $350 million center. Alan Hayashi, executive director of the CCA since it was formed 11 years ago has said he will retire. Five CCA staffers are expected to move to the HTA.

Approval seen near for Bell-GTE merger

WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic Corp. is close to winning U.S. regulatory approval to buy GTE Corp. for $79.5 billion after agreeing to additional concessions that will limit profits from GTE's Internet unit, analysts said.

Bell Atlantic filed a plan at the Federal Communications Commission late Wednesday, agreeing to relinquish any gains in the value of Genuity Inc., the Internet unit, in states where the company lacks authority to sell long-distance service. The restriction further ensures the company complies with a law barring regional phone companies from owning or profiting from long-distance service, including Internet traffic. An FCC official said the agency could act on the merger as early as next week. GTE is the parent of Hawaiian Tel.

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