An increase in Hawaii’s general excise tax is dead for now, but Rep. George Fontaine worries that it could make a comeback.
Fontaine, a Republican representing Maui, said on the House Minority website that there could be an effort to raise the general excise tax between now and the end of this year’s legislative session May 5.
The general excise tax is the state’s broadest tax, levied on most transactions in the state at a rate of 4.5 percent on Oahu and 4 percent on neighbor islands.
A Senate committee voted against increasing it earlier this month, but Fontaine warned that it could be revived in other pending legislation.
Fontaine said raising the tax would hurt the economy and possibly cause businesses to lay off employees.