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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hawaii sees tax revenues fall 9.7% during first 3 months of the fiscal year

Advertiser Staff

State revenue collections fell 9.7 percent during the first three months of the fiscal year, the state Department of Taxation reported today, a more significant decline than estimated by the state Council on Revenues.

The council had predicted a 1.5 percent decline for the fiscal year that ends next June. While there is time for a recovery, the state is in a deeper hole than expected.

General excise and use taxes are down 11.8 percent through September. Hotel-room taxes are off 11.9 percent. Individual income taxes are down 6.7 percent. And corporate income taxes are down 27.3 percent.

Economists have predicted that the state's economy will improve and revenue collections will rebound next fiscal year.

Gov. Linda Lingle and state lawmakers use the council's estimates when drafting the state's budget.

The decline in actual revenue collections could prompt the governor and lawmakers to consider new revenue-generating ideas next session, such as the use of special funds like the state's hurricane relief fund or an increase in the general-excise tax.

The lower revenue collections could also influence collective bargaining with public-sector labor unions.