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MAYOR HANNEMANN: COUNTIES SPLIT $8 MILLION IN PHONE TAXES PAID TO STATE

Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced that Honolulu has distributed among Hawaii’s counties nearly $8 million in revenue from mobile phone taxes that had been collected by the state but not distributed to the counties from 2005 to 2008.

"This is another example of Honolulu carefully accounting for and managing taxpayer money, and of the close cooperation among the Hawaii Council of Mayors," Hannemann said. "We are very diligent about protecting taxpayer money and ensuring that it is allocated fairly."

The distribution was the result of a Public Service Company Tax review conducted by Honolulu, which found that the city and county was not receiving any PSC tax from T-Mobile, a provider of wireless voice, messaging and data services.

It was subsequently determined that the company had been paying the state the full amount of PSC tax at the rate of 5.885 percent. The 1.885 percent county portion of the tax was not being allocated and paid to each county, however.

The county portion of the PSC tax for these years is $7,995,662.36. Honolulu later received a check from the state for this amount, which was divided among the counties following a formula required by state law.

"This is more evidence that in these challenging times, collaboration among the four county mayors pays dividends for the taxpayers," said Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. "We thank our fellow county workers in Honolulu for spotting the problem and correcting it."

Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she is pleased that the solution will benefit all counties. And Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho said the troubled economy makes it especially important to carefully account for all taxpayer money.

The revenue was distributed among the counties as follows:

Honolulu--$7,059,082.28

Hawaii--$364,162.21

Maui--$549,578.88

Kauai--$22,838.99

The city is continuing to work with T-Mobile and the state to address the years 2002-2004.

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Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928