The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation brought in $48.5 million in GET surcharge revenue this quarter, covering July through September, according to a HART press release. So far, the rail project has accrued $1.35 billion in GET revenues, which are derived from a .5 percent surcharge on the general excise tax.

“The steady GET surcharge revenue, along with the $1.55 billion in secured federal funds shows our funding remains strong for the project,” HART CEO Dan Grabauskas is quoted as saying in the press release.

What city public information officers chose not to include in the press release, however, is that the quarterly revenue collection is $5.3 million below what was projected for the project.

HART rail columns with car PF

Honolulu’s rail project faces significant cost challenges in part because of a fast-paced market and two lawsuits that delayed construction.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

This was also the case for the previous two quarters. For the period ending in June, GET revenue came in 14 percent lower than what was hoped. In March, GET revenues were 20 percent short.

Overall, GET revenue is about $40.8 million behind projections, Scott Ishikawa, a HART spokesman, told Civil Beat.

GET revenues are expected to fund nearly 70 percent of the $5.2 billion Honolulu rail project.

In March, HART downgraded the GET revenues from “on track” to in need of “monitoring,” in its Balanced Scorecard, which provides a breakdown of rail’s finances. GET revenues fluctuate and could pick up in coming quarters. The shortfall amounts to a 4.5 percent revenue deficit when compared to projections outlined in rail’s financial plan, beginning in 2009.

Ishikawa said that revenue is still expected to meet HART’s projections over the coming years.


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