This session, one of Governor Ige’s legislative proposals sought to raise gas tax in each county, state vehicle registration fees, and annual weight tax. The proceeds from the increased taxes and fees would be used to fund projects under the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT).
In 2011, the state dramatically increased the gas tax, vehicle weight tax, and vehicle registration fees. HDOT is allocated about $160 million each year in federal funds and has more than $600 million (from its backlog of $940 million in 2010) in unspent federal funding for highway projects. Recently, a Federal Highway Administration raised concerns about HDOT's project management. For these reasons, I opposed Governor Ige's proposal to raise taxes and fees for state highways, and I am hopefully that the Legislature will continue to push HDOT for better management of their existing funds.
Currently, the proposals (outlined below) are stalled in the House.
Senate Bill 2938 and House Bill 2409
Increase diesel and aviation fuel from $.01 ->$.02
Increase state tax on liquid fuel from $.16->.19
State vehicle registration fee $45->$76.50
$71.50 of registration fee will be deposit into $71.50
$5 into the emergency medical services special fund
Annual Weight Tax
Net weight rate $1.75->$2.75 per pound
Vehicles between 4K-7K lbs rate will rise from $2.00 - > $3.00
Vehicles between 7K-10K lbs rate will rise from $2.25 - > $3.25
Vehicles 10K+ will be taxed at a flat rate of $400.00
Under the current legislative proposal, the gas tax is expected to generate about $87 million, the state weight tax will generate $78.4 million, and the vehicle registration fee is expected to net another $44.7 million for the State Highway fund.