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Hawaii News

Rail stress caused legislative leaps


    Instead of extending the half-percent excise tax surcharge for rail as Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urgently requested, lawmakers tentatively agreed Friday to raise the state’s hotel room tax for 10 years to bail out the city’s stunningly expensive rail project.

Rail and the political turmoil that surrounds it helped steer the state Legislature into dramatic new positions last week on some longstanding, contentious issues, with results that startled even some of the politicians involved. Read more

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