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Senate committee kills increase in general excise tax

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Hawaii senators are killing a proposal to raise the state’s broadest tax, which is levied on most transactions.
 
A group of 10 senators in the 14-member Senate Ways and Means Committee outvoted committee Chairman David Ige and his allies today, removing the hike in the general excise tax from pending legislation.
 
The underlying bill, which removes tax exemptions enjoyed by businesses, passed 10-4.
 
The vote came a day after dozens of residents and business owners appeared before senators during a public hearing, most of them opposed to the increase.
 
The general excise tax is levied on most transactions at a rate of 4 percent on neighbor islands and 4.5 percent on Oahu, which pays the higher amount for its planned rail line.
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