Maui News

$70 Million Secured for Honolulu Rail Project in New COVID-19 Relief Bill

February 28, 2021, 8:21 AM HST
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File 2019. PC: honolulurailtransit.org

US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), helped secure $70 million for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. The new federal funding will help the City and County of Honolulu pay for a portion of its share of the cost of the project, making up for the loss in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Schatz, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development said, “Our goal here was to help the City pay for part of its share by covering the loss in local tax revenue caused by the pandemic. This provides some relief, but HART and the City must still come up with a workable financial plan and get this project up and running for the people of Honolulu.”

With the City and County of Honolulu facing a significant tax revenue shortfall due to the pandemic, Schatz worked with House leaders and pushed to include federal funding that would help the City make up for the tax loss and keep the rail project on track.

The Schatz provision was included in the COVID-19 relief package passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. The Senate is expected to consider the House bill this week.

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