The administration of Gov. David Ige is proposing an increase in the state gasoline tax, weight tax, and vehicle registration fees. To accumulate an extra $40 million a year for road maintenance and other highways projects. The administration submits a bill to lawmakers Monday, proposing increasing the state gas tax. The increase from 16 cents per gallon to 22 cents per gallon for Oahu motorists. And on the neighbor islands from 16 cents to 21 cents per gallon. This will cost an average Oahi motorist an extra $33 per year according to the state Department of Transportation. Even though drivers who have a long distance or have less efficient vehicles would likely pay more.
The proposal marks the third time the administration. To increase the state gas and weight taxes and registration fees to boost the balance in the state Highway Fund. That pays for road maintenance and construction projects. The first two proposal attempts in 2016 and 2017 rejected by the state lawmakers. However, last year passed a $2 per-day surcharge on car rentals by non-residential. Which anticipate to contribute about $38 million a year to the Highway Fund. Wednesday, chairwoman Lorraine Inouye of State Transportation Committee said she favors the administration’s latest plan to increase the gas tax. She expects her colleagues also to support it. The previously proposed gas tax hikes approved by the Senate but died in the House.
Donovan Dela Cruz, who is a powerful player in the Senate, said he is not so sure. Dela Cruz said that even when he was on the council he opposed to gas tax because people who do not have too many choices on where they can live. People cannot live near where they work, and another concern is that the economy appears to be slowing. Scott Saiki speaker of the house declined to comment on the Ige proposal, Henry Aquino of House Transportation was unavailable for comment.