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Tax revenue down, state says

State tax collections are down 0.4 percent through nine months of the fiscal year, the state Department of Taxation reported Thursday.

The state Council on Revenues had downgraded the state’s revenue forecast in March to 0 percent growth through the fiscal year, down from the 3.3 percent growth projected in January. Actual tax collections are tracking with the lower forecast.

The Department of Taxation said that lower revenue collections this fiscal year are influenced by two uncommon events: The state made a replenishment payment of $55 million into the hurricane relief fund in August and also made an unusually large allocation of a Honolulu rail tax surcharge in July.

General fund and use tax revenues the largest category of tax collections were down 2.2 percent through March compared with last fiscal year. Hotel room tax collections, however, were up by 8.1 percent over last year. The fiscal year ends in June.


Speed is cited in motorcyclist’s death on Maui

Speed was a factor in a fatal motorcycle accident Wednesday night in Kihei, Maui police said.

Burton Salas, 24, of Wai­luku died at the scene of the crash at 9:57 p.m. on North Kihei Road near the Kea­lia Wildlife Reserve, police said.

The 2005 Suzuki GSX-R750K motorcycle driven by Salas failed to stay on the roadway at a curve, crossed left of the center of the road and struck a guardrail, police said.

Salas was wearing a helmet.

His death is the sixth traffic fatality on Maui this year, compared with four at the same time last year.


Sentencing date for Pflueger delayed again

LIHUE >> A retired car dealer’s sentencing was delayed for a second time in a Kauai dam breach that swept seven people to their deaths in 2006. 

James Pflueger’s new sentencing date is Aug. 28. Because of a medical condition, he was unable to travel from Hono­lulu to Kauai in January for his original sentencing date.

Pflueger pleaded no contest in July to first-degree reckless endangerment for his role in the Ka Loko Dam break on his property. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of manslaughter.

Meanwhile, a petition by dozens of Kilauea farmers and residents has been filed in court asking that Pflue­ger’s sentence include orders to fix the dam and spillway, the Garden Island reported.

Pflueger’s attorney, William McCorriston, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Star-Advertiser staff and Associated Press

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