Hawaii Panel Increases Tax Revenue Forecast For Fiscal Year | Hawaii News
By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press
HONOULU (AP) – The Council on Revenues raised its forecast for Hawaii’s general fund tax revenue on Tuesday, saying it now expects it to grow 6.3% in the fiscal year in progress instead of 3%. The council cited forecasts that visitor numbers would continue to exceed last year’s levels and expectations that COVID-19-related hospitalizations would decline as more people get vaccinated.
Council members said their previous forecast for the fiscal year ending in June was too conservative. The council made the prediction in May, before travel skyrocketed during the summer.
The board maintained its 4% growth forecast for the next fiscal year, which ends in June 2023.
Hawaii law requires the governor and lawmakers to use council forecasts when writing the state budget.
The number of travelers has fallen from its peak of over 30,000 per day during the summer.
Carl Bonham, a board member and professor of economics at the University of Hawaii, attributed part of that drop to seasonal changes and part of the increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant.
Despite this, he said an average of 19,000 travelers made it to Hawaii every day during the first week of September.
Bonham predicted that hospitalizations would decrease as vaccinations increase, helping travel return around Thanksgiving.
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