Mayors seek to keep Hawaii hotel tax revenue share

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HONOLULU (AP) — The mayors of Hawaii’s four counties agree on one thing. They want to hold on to their share of the hotel tax.

Mayors Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu, Billy Kenoi of the Big Island, Charmaine Tavares of Maui and Bernard Carvalho of Kauai asked state lawmakers Wednesday to reject Gov. Linda Lingle’s plan for the state to hold on to all of the tax revenue.

The tax generates about $100 million a year for the counties.

Democratic state Sens. Donna Mercado Kim and Russell Kokubun suggested the counties could impose their own sales taxes of up to 5 percent to offset the loss of the hotel tax money.

Kim said a sales tax would hopefully generate more than the hotel tax.

The mayors were hesitant to embrace the sales tax suggestion.