Nan Inc. recently won a $56 million contract to build three West Oahu rail stations. The company, which has taken advantage of federal minority business programs, is at the center of state and federal lawsuits alleging questionable business practices.
HART's best guess is that running the trains will cost at least $1.7 billion for just the first 12 years. City financial documents suggest officials likely will raise property taxes to pay for operations and maintenance.
A review of HART's records on the surcharge suggests lawmakers trying to decide if taxpayers should cough up billions of dollars more in taxes will be hard-pressed to follow the rail project's fuzzy arithmetic.
The rail project has been in the works for more than 10 years but city and HART officials still can't — or won't — say what the money has been spent on. Secrecy over tens of millions of dollars in payments to subcontractors is only one troubling aspect.