Advertiser Staff and News Services
Tax collections down slightly
State tax collections for the first seven months of the fiscal year are trailing last year's collections by less than one-half of 1 percent, tax officials announced yesterday.
Tax collections from July 1 through the end of January totaled $1.87 billion, or about $6.4 million less than was collected in the same period last year. That amounts to a drop of 0.3 percent in tax collections.
The state Council on Revenues has predicted the state will collect seven-tenths of 1 percent less in taxes this year than last year, meaning the state will face a budget shortfall of about $330 million in this fiscal year and the coming year. The tax-collection statistics released yesterday suggest the council is roughly on target.
Tax collections for January were nearly $341 million, a decline of 5.8 percent since last year.
Collections for the state excise tax, considered a good indicator of the overall health of the economy, declined by almost 13 percent from collections for last January.
Action urged on hurricane fund
A parade of top Cayetano administration officials went before the House Finance Committee yesterday, saying that the $213 million Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund is needed to avoid cuts in vital state services.
The committee deferred immediate action on that bill and others offering different choices, including one to return the money to homeowners, one to keep the fund intact and one to use part of it to strengthen Hawai'i homes against storms.
Deputy budget director Stan Shiraki said money in the fund is needed to address a projected $330 million revenue shortfall through the next fiscal year.
HHRF executive director Lloyd Lim and Gerald Peters of the Hurricane Mitigation Ad Hoc Task Force supported using a portion of the fund, primarily the interest it earns, to encourage Hawai'i homeowners to take steps to make their homes more resistant to hurricane damage.
Kuliou'ou fills all board seats
Bernard Boltz, president of the Wailupe Community Association, and Al Andrews have agreed to fill two vacancies on the Kuliou'ou Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board.
The board now has all 17 seats filled.
The position Boltz filled had been vacant for several months after Ed Gall, who represented the Wailupe Peninsula and surrounding area, resigned to spend more time with his family.
Andrews fills a seat previously held by Christopher Baron, who resigned. The position represents the Kuliou'ou community.
Students dress to de-stress
Students at 'Aina Haina Elementary School are celebrating Spirit Week, sponsored by the Student Council, by dressing in themes throughout the week.
Yesterday they dressed like athletes from their favorite sport. A prize went to the most unique athlete.
Today is Red, White and Blue Day, when students are encouraged to dress in stars and stripes, from blue nails to red socks.
Tomorrow is Twin Day. Students will choose five things or more to match with a partner, from hairstyle to clothes to accessories. On Thursday, Beach Day, students will dress for the sun from head to toe but not in swimsuits.
The week-long event ends Friday with Jump Rope For Heart, a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association.
Rally to launch cancer benefit
The American Cancer Society will hold a kick-off rally for its "Relay for Life" at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Campbell Estate Building.
The free rally will be in the Campbell building's Laulima Room, 1001 Kamokila Blvd.
The June 22 event has teams walking for 12 straight hours at Kapolei Regional Park to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The event also honors people who have been struck down by cancer.
For more information, contact the American Cancer Society Central/Leeward unit at 486-8420.