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Hawaii Will Collect More Taxes Than Expected—But Don’t Worry, we’re still going to raise taxes
CB: … The state Council on Revenues now believes the state general treasury will receive about $300 million more in the next six months than the council had projected last year. That will help with the state budget crunch caused by the COVID-19 recession.
Looking further ahead, the council’s latest projections mean the state will collect about $650 million more in taxes in the two years that begin July 1, according to House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke..
But lawmakers and the administration still have some major problems. Ige has been planning furloughs and layoffs of state workers as well as sizable cuts in other state spending for those two years, and the administration has disclosed it is considering possible tax increases.
“This does not provide enough relief, and we will still need to proceed with significant program cuts,” Luke said in a written statement.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said that “overall it sounds like we’re in a better position than we were yesterday, but not by much.”…
AP: The council said it expects general fund tax revenue to decline 6.5% during the 12 months ending in June, less than the 11% drop it had projected in September….Carl Bonham, a University of Hawaii economics professor who sits on the council, said tourism has been stronger than anticipated since the state began allowing travelers to bypass quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19. Job growth as also been substantially better than forecast, he said, as almost 50,000 unemployed returned to work in November.
HNN: When will Hawaii’s economy turn the corner? New data says not yet
SA: Hawaii’s economy expected to recover faster
PBN: Tourism numbers lead council to revise Hawaii revenue forecast upward
read … Hawaii Will Collect More Taxes Than Expected, State Panel Says
Ige’s mom, mom-in-law vaccinations look unfair
SA: … How is it that Gov. David Ige’s mother and mother-in-law have already received the vaccine ahead of the scheduled release of the vaccine under Phase 2 for seniors over 75?
Why, specifically was 15 Craigside, where they reside, and other long-term care residential communities given preferential treatment and garnered early vaccination ahead of the rest of the seniors community? My mother is 101 and is anxiously waiting “her turn”! She does not have the luxury of living in a retirement home.
read … Ige’s mom, mom-in-law vaccinations look unfair
Work-from-Hawaii program draws 50K applicants for 50 spots
PBN: … Movers and Shakas, the public-private program to lure remote workers to Hawaii, received more than 50,000 applications for the first cohort of 50, and the business and community leaders behind the program are already planning for a second cohort later this year.
The Movers and Shakas program seeks to bring temporary remote workers with jobs on the Mainland to Hawaii by offering airfare and deep discounts to stay at Waikiki hotels. …
people who didn’t make the cut are being asked to join the Hawaii Slack’s #Shakasnetwork channel, where they can network with others looking to come to work remotely in Hawaii. A lot of those people have already joined the Slack channel this week, joining hundreds of others who are either already working from here or people who are planning to come….
read … Work-from-Hawaii program draws 50K applicants for 50 spots
Number of unemployment claims in Hawaii jumps before PEUC Deadline
HNN: … The weekly number of initial claims is up by more than 500 this week as many families in Hawaii are working to overcome the financial burden of the holidays.
Many unemployment claimants are having trouble with the Pandemic Emergency Compensation (PEUC) benefit.
After exhausting their regular unemployment benefits, they had to file for the PEUC, and depending on whether or not that happened before the deadline of December 26th made a big difference.
If those benefits were exhausted after the deadline, claimants had to wait for the second PEUC 11-week extension, and that program hasn’t launched yet, leaving many people without any source of income.
This week, state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anne Perreira-Estaqiuo gave an update to the state’s legislative committee on finance.
She said DLIR is making some cuts in order to maintain the vital services they provide. It’s reducing the budget for the workforce development division and the community services division. DLIR is also eliminating positions in the Hawaii Civil Rights division within the department.…. (Translation: Raise taxes to save these positions.)
read … Number of unemployment claims in Hawaii jumps after the holidays
Biki Bike Should be Allowed to Siphon Money from Taxpayers because it is Green
CB: … With a new city audit out there’s plenty of talk about the bike-share’s costs. What’s missing is a similar examination of its community benefits….
read … Here’s Why You Can’t Judge Honolulu’s Bike-Share Program On Public Costs Alone
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