Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

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Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Monday, January 01, 2007

Looming tax hikes fill stores, fuel tanks

By Alexandre Da Silva and Robert Shikina
It may be pennies on the dollar, but they sure add up fast, and that's why many Oahu consumers were buying gasoline and even computer gear before the knell of midnight yesterday.

The reasons: the general excise tax goes up today, and a gas exemption that was saving consumers about 11 cents a gallon ended yesterday.

Many shoppers took advantage of the last day to spend money without paying for a new tax hike on all goods.

Vani Aweau saved almost $10 by getting computer supplies yesterday and beating a general excise tax hike that takes effect today to fund a mass transit system. But for Aweau, who spent $200 at CompUSA, the good news stopped there.

The 43-year-old Liliha resident is not happy about joining every Oahu consumer who -- with every purchase they now make -- will automatically pitch in for an alternative method of transportation for Honolulu.


"I probably won't be using it," Aweau said.

A county surcharge tax that state lawmakers approved last year is raising the 4 percent general excise tax in the City and County of Honolulu to 4.5 percent. The additional tax is projected to bring in $150 million a year to fund a mass transit system, which is expected to cost at least $4.6 billion.

story continued


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