|The Price of paradise for Hawaii’s low-income families
From the Hawaii Appleseed Center
The financial pressures on Hawaii’s low-income families are overwhelming. Our state has the highest cost of living and housing in the nation with 75% of our poor families spending more than 50% of their income on housing. We also have the lowest rate for adjusted wages paid in the country while taxing our poor at a higher rate than all but 4 other states. To help our struggling wage earners living in poverty, Hawaii Appleseed has been preparing tax initiatives for consideration in this upcoming legislative session that will provide critical tax relief to low income workers. They include:
- Creating a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) patterned after the federal program that has been such a bi-partisan success since its adoption in 1975. The federal EITC program provides a one-time wage supplement to low income wage earners. Twenty three states on the mainland have created a state EITC programs because it puts money directly back in to the pockets of those who need it most while also acting as a wage supplement and an incentive for employment. Click here to find out more about a state EITC program.
- Eliminating the income tax charged to wage earners who earn below the poverty level. Currently Hawai’i charges working-poor families higher tax bills than all but four other states and one of only 10 states to levy an income tax on a full-time worker in a family of three making minimum wage ($15,080). Click here to find out more about eliminating income tax for poor wage earners.