Thursday, August 11, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, December 23, 2021
State budget windfall opens way for tax cuts
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:15 PM :: 1105 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

State budget windfall opens way for tax cuts

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii calculations show there is plenty of room for the Legislature to break its habit of continually increasing taxes

News Release from Grassroot Institute, Dec 23, 2021

HONOLULU, Dec. 23, 2021 >> Gov. David Ige’s fiscal 2023 general fund budget shows revenues are up $252 million more than last year,[1] but could be up to $1.7 billion more than that because of economic activity that has been generating more tax revenues than expected.[2]

The state’s incoming revenue is so great right now that the governor said this week he will not propose any new taxes this year.[3]

Members of the state Legislature might have other ideas about that, but the recent influx of federal aid and tax revenues shows there is plenty of room to work toward tax reduction, said Keli‘i Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

“Hawaii residents deserve some much-needed relief from the state’s exceptionally high cost of living,” said Akina. “It would be a shame if state lawmakers squandered this opportunity to give everybody a break from the usual fare of increased taxes, year after year.”

He said: “The governor might even wish to consider promising to veto any tax increases, period. And based on a recent poll the institute commissioned, I’m pretty certain most Hawaii residents would stand behind him for that.”[4]

According to the state Council on Revenues projections in September, state general fund revenues for fiscal 2023 were expected to grow at 4% compared with the previous year.[5] But for the first five months of fiscal 2023, the revenues have been flowing in at an “astounding” 27.3% higher rate than the year before, according to the governor[6] — or about $737 million so far, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii calculations show.[7]

The institute calculated that if the revenues continue at that pace, the total by the end of fiscal 2023 could be about $1.7 billion higher than expected. If they were to grow at even half that pace for the rest of the fiscal year, the total would be about $700 million more than the Council on Revenues predicted.[8]

The resulting revenue windfall would be in addition to the $1 billion of federal American Rescue Plan aid infused into the state’s fiscal 2022 budget, and the $286 million added to the fiscal 2023 budget.[9]

“The revenues are indeed ‘astounding,’” Akina said, “especially considering that most of it has come from a meager reopening of the economy. Imagine what could be accomplished if lawmakers and the governor were more focused on reopening all aspects of our economy.”

Akina added: “Lawmakers are sitting on a bonanza, and they should find ways to return unneeded cash to the taxpayers.”

While Ige’s proposed budget does not include a tax increase, there is no doubt several tax bills will surface once the legislative session begins next month. 

Already, there are calls for new “revenue generation” tools.[10] The same day the governor released his budget, the Hawaii Tax Commission also released its biannual report in which it recommended a litany of new taxes. 

Among other reforms, the commission suggested: 

>> A $100 million carbon tax, to incentivize cleaner energy, 80% of the proceeds of which would be rebated to taxpayers.

>> Taxing public pension income to the tune of $50 million per year.

>> Creating a “Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Sustainable Government Spending” to review the state’s taxing and spending policies.

>> Repealing certain little-used general excise tax exemptions.

But according to Akina: “Tax hikes were unnecessary last year, and they are unnecessary now. Lawmakers should reject any calls for more taxes on a public that largely opposes such measures.”

Akina referenced a survey conducted earlier this year for the institute by marketing research firm Anthology, which showed that 70% of nearly 1,000 Hawaii respondents believed their taxes were too high, and 81% opposed paying more.[11]

---30---

LINK: Footnotes

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT