LOS ANGELES -- Hawaii's issuance of bonds to finance a long-planned convention center in Waikiki has moved a step closer to reality following a 1% increase in the state's 5% hotel room tax.

The increase alone is expected to generate about $17 million this fiscal year, and will be dedicated to backing tax-exempt convention center bonds, said Eugene Imai, director of finance for the Hawaii department of budget and finance.

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