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Caldwell proposes fuel tax hike

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:38 p.m. HST, Mar 1, 2013

Mayor Kirk Caldwell today proposed a $2.09 billion operating budget for Honolulu in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

About $13 million higher than what was passed by the City Council last summer for the current 2012-2013 budget, it is the first time in the city’s history that a budget proposal has surpassed the $2 billion mark.

The plan does not include any increases in property tax rates.

However, the budget is calling for a 5-cent-per-gallon increase in the city’s fuel tax, up from the current 16.5-cents-per-gallon. The Caldwell administration said the money will generate an additional $15 million that will be used to help pay for road repaving and a restoration of bus routes that were cut last year.

The increase would be the first in the city’s fuel tax since 1989. A proposal to increase the tax by a penny, to 17.5 cents, was rejected by the Council two years ago.

Caldwell is also proposing a $623 million construction budget for the coming year. The largest share of that, about $226 million, will be for solid waste and wastewater facility projects.

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