Hawaii lawmakers push for watershed funding

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 9:03 AM

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii House Committee on Water and Land has approved a bill to fund natural resource protection and increase the conveyance tax for high-end properties.

Some of the conveyance tax revenue is already being used to fund environmental protection, which includes protecting watersheds, and affordable housing.

In response to testimony, the committee voted to dedicate more of the revenue to those causes as well as increase the tax for properties worth more than $2 million.

Several environmental groups say that the bill could help preserve Hawaii's water supply.

Opponents of the bill, including the Chamber of Commerce, say the proposal will discourage real estate business in Hawaii.

The House Committee on Finance will hear the bill next and is likely to determine the specific amounts the tax would increase.

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