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HART Board approves $645M budget for fiscal year 2023

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

The Board of Directors of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation approved Friday the agency’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.

The budget calls for about $645 million in spending, plus a new appropriation request of nearly $1.7 billion for construction of the line through the so-called City Center from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center.

However, most of those funds will be spent in future years.

The approval follows a reduction in the projected shortfall for the overall project. HART now estimates the final cost for the 20.2-mile rail system will be $11.4 billion, down from roughly $12.4 billion.

The revised figures are the result of an independent cost analysis by the firm Triunity Management and Engineering.

A Honolulu City Council committee last week agreed to allocate between one-third to one-half of revenues from a proposed 3% visitor bed tax to the rail project.

The Blangiardi Administration asked the council to earmark 1% of the transient accommodations tax to the Honolulu rail for two years, then increase that to 1.5% thereafter — that's 50% of the TAT funds.

City Managing Director Michael Formby told committee members the TAT revenues were critical to completing a functioning rail system.

The Budget Committee voted 5-to-1 to move the hotel bed tax measure to the full council for final approval in December.

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