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Council predicts a 15% tax revenue jump as tourism rebounds from COVID-19 downturn

HONOLULU (AP) — The Council on Revenues on Thursday predicted that the Hawaii’s general fund tax receipts will surge 15 percent during the current fiscal year through June as tourism recovers from the COVID-19 downturn.

During the next fiscal year, which runs from July through June 2023, the council expects general fund tax revenues to climb 6.9 percent from this year as the rebound continues.

Hawaii law requires the governor and the Legislature to use the council’s forecasts when they draft their budgets.

Council members said the omicron coronavirus variant is causing COVID-19 case numbers to jump in many parts of the world but that wasn’t stopping tourists from coming to Hawaii.

“What we’re seeing right now is that U.S. visitors don’t seem to care. They’re traveling. And it doesn’t seem to matter what’s going on,” said Carl Bonham, an economics professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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