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Gas tax increase measure stays alive at Council

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:04 p.m. HST, Apr 20, 2011

The City Council has advanced a proposal to increase the city’s gasoline tax by 1 cent to 17.5 cents per gallon.

The move comes as gas prices reach record highs in Honolulu and around the state.

Budget Chairman Ernie Martin said he had grave concerns on hiking the fuel tax, but asked councilmembers to keep the measure alive as an option for balancing the budget in the event that the state scoops some or all of the county’s traditional share of funds.

The 1-cent increase for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is part of a 6-cent per gallon increase phased in over three years.

Honolulu’s fuel tax is second-highest in the state, behind Maui County’s 16 cents per gallon. Kauai County taxes fuel at 13 cents a gallon and the Big Island rate is 8.8 cents a gallon.

The Council voted 7-2 on keeping the fuel tax measure alive. Councilmen Ikaika Anderson and Tom Berg voted in opposition.

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