Governor Linda Lingle may veto SB 3181 which would apply the 6¢ bottle tax to 68oz. containers. The beverage container tax program which was started in late 2004 puts a surcharge of 6¢ on every beverage container under 68 oz. That means canned sodas, juices, bottled water and more are taxed an extra 6¢ on top of the 4.16% general excise tax paid on all goods sold in Hawaii. Consumers get 5¢ of the 6¢ back if they return each container. Consumers lose a penny per container after they redeem them. The penny is applied cover “administrative expenses” due to the state for running the recycling program.
When the tax was implemented it forced me to change my purchasing habits. I like many others simply stopped buying beverages that came in smaller containers.
Fortunately, if the Governor holds true to her stated intentions, by July 11 the threat of the bottle tax being applied to 68oz. containers will have passed for this year.