Honolulu Officials Unlikely To Try To Extend Rail Tax

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

UPDATED 1/19/2012 5:39 a.m.

WASHINGTON — Honolulu rail planners are unlikely to request an extension to the general excise tax surcharge that's paying for the bulk of the project.

That was the message that emerged after a lengthy private meeting between Honolulu officials and Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff in Washington on Wednesday.

In an interview before the meeting, Rogoff told Civil Beat that it's just a matter of "paperwork," when asked about what the city needed to do to strengthen its financial plan enough to get federal funding. He said he thinks Honolulu is "going to get there."

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle arranged the meeting. He told Civil Beat it lasted an hour and a half, and focused on ways that Honolulu can shore up the $5.2 billion rail project's financial plan. Also present, at the mayor's request, was Don Horner, chairman of the Finance Committee of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

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