Honolulu mayor plans 3 tax hikes to cover future rail costs

HONOLULU — The mayor of Hawaii’s capital city has proposed a trio of tax increases to cover costs of a forthcoming rail line.

The budget put forward by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell earlier this year includes tax hikes designed in part to cover the city’s rail operations and maintenance.

The Democratic mayor says the increases in property taxes on hotels and the most expensive Oahu homes, as well as a new rubbish pickup fee, will take effect in the budget year beginning July 1 if approved by the Honolulu City Council.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation estimates costs of $127 million to $144 million per year once the entire 20-mile (32-kilometer) train line opens.

The authority plans a partial opening in December 2020.

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