Monday, April 22, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Blankety Blank
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 852 Views :: Taxes

Blankety Blank

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. This is the city: Honolulu, Hawaii. I live here. I’m a doggie. The suspect is Blankety Blank.

No, that isn’t a cuss word. It’s just the facts, ma’am.

Blankety Blank is House Bill 1190. Its purpose, should you decide to accept it, is “to amend state income tax rates and provide tax relief for taxpayers whose income places them at or below the poverty level.”

But here’s what the bill actually says (for married filing jointly, with other filing statuses having similar language):

In the case of any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2018:

If the taxable income is: The tax shall be:

Over $6,600 but not over $9,600 ___% of excess over $6,600

Over $9,600 but not over $28,800 $___ plus ___% of excess over $9,600

Over $28,800 but not over $38,400 $___ plus ___% of excess over $28,800

Over $38,400 but not over $48,000 $___ plus ___% of excess over $38,400

Over $48,000 but not over $72,000 $___ plus ___% of excess over $48,000

The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Blanks, blanks, and more blanks.

We don’t know if it’s a tax cut, a tax hike, or something in between. Nevertheless, the bill has oodles of supporters, including the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Rainbow Family 808, Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii, Hawaiian Community Assets, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, Oahu County Democrats, and numerous individuals. We wonder if all those supporters were aware that they were supporting Blankety Blank. Maybe they believed the statements about the bill’s intent, or maybe they just didn’t care about what was in the blanks.

Blankety Blank passed the House on March 5th with no one voting “No” and no one voting “Aye with reservations.”

The Senate Ways and Means Committee amended it slightly (but didn’t fill in any of the blanks) and passed it out with no dissent on March 29. At this writing, it was awaiting third reading in the Senate, after which it will go to a conference committee.

The conference committee conducts its deliberations behind the scenes, and only schedules public meetings when it comes time to vote on the conference draft. The conference draft, if one is produced, will have the real numbers in it. Once that draft is released to the public, we will finally know whether we are looking at a tax hike, a tax cut, or something revenue neutral.

The Hawaii Constitution states: “No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each house on separate days.” The Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of 1950 said that those readings provide “the opportunity for full debate in the open before committees and in each House, during the course of which the purposes of the measures, and their meaning, scope, and probable effect, and the validity of the alleged facts and arguments given in their support can be fully examined, and if false or unsound, can be exposed, before any action of consequence is taken thereon.”

So how do you discuss a Blankety Blank? Can you really debate the measure’s purpose, meaning, scope, or probable effect without knowing whether you are talking about a tax hike or a tax cut?

This is a true story. The end of the story has not yet been written. We too will be following House Bill 1190 and will bark like crazy if something goes awry. Ours is a tough job but someone has to do it. The name’s Watch Doggie.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

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 Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

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

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

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

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT