Question: Will the state delay payment of tax refunds this year like it did last year? Or has this not been decided yet?
Answer: The state Department of Taxation expects to issue refunds within its usual time frames this year, spokeswoman Mallory Fujita said.
There apparently is no support at the Legislature this year to again delay refunds by the legally allowed 90 days. Then-Gov. Linda Lingle had ordered the delay last year in an attempt to help balance the state budget.
Fujita said that for tax returns filed by paper, the expected time frames in which refunds are normally issued are as follows: returns filed in January and February, four to six weeks; returns filed in March, six to eight weeks; and returns filed in April, eight to 10 weeks.
Refunds requested to be directly deposited into bank accounts will be received by the taxpayer one week earlier than paper checks, she said.
Taxpayers who file electronically can expect refunds "much, much quicker," Fujita said.
"E-filed returns are typically uploaded into our system within one to two days upon transmission, and refunds are issued within two to three weeks, with direct deposits of refunds as early as one to two weeks," she said.
To Honolulu bus operators. The service is totally inadequate and has much to be desired. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, we wanted to go from the Hale Koa Hotel/Kalia Road to the Naval Exchange at Pearl Harbor. We were told to take the No. 42 bus to Punchbowl and Beretania streets, then transfer to No. 9. We waited 35 minutes for the No. 42, just missing the No. 9 when we arrived at Punchbowl and Beretania. The next No. 9 did not arrive for 65 solid minutes. When we finally arrived at our destination, two hours and 25 minutes had expired and we were tired and disgusted. There most certainly needs to be some improvement to serve a visitor. — Al Eisner, Silver Spring, Md.
"We are sorry to hear that this rider had a bad experience on TheBus," said Michelle Kennedy, spokeswoman for Oahu Transit Services.
With about 100 bus routes that handle about 230,000 "boarding riders" each day, "There are multiple transit options to get to the Pearl Harbor area," she said. They include two routes fronting the Hale Koa Hotel that go directly to Radford Drive and Kamehameha Highway and many additional routes at Ala Moana Center and downtown.
Kennedy said the Route 42/Route 9 option involves the least amount of walking and least complicated transfer instructions to get to the Navy Exchange, which is about a half-mile uphill from the Kamehameha Highway/Radford Drive stop.
Route 42 runs every 30 minutes and Route 9 every 45 minutes at midday. Route 9 stops directly across the street from the Navy Exchange.
"We have checked our records for that day and there were no major disruptions and both routes were traveling on a consistent schedule," Kennedy said.
You can file a formal complaint if you wish: Call the customer services office at 848-4500.
Meanwhile, Kennedy said you should have a smoother and less complicated ride to the Navy Exchange and other Pearl Harbor attractions in the future, once the city’s new Bus Transit Center opens at Middle Street and Kamehameha Highway.
The scheduled opening is this summer.
Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.