Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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Entries for 'Tom Yamachika'

Sunday, January 14, 2018
Trump Tax: Will Hawaii Legislature Conform?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 486 Views :: Taxes

...If they don’t, it will be functionally the same as raising taxes....

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Sunday, January 07, 2018
GEMS Takes One on the Chin from the PUC
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 780 Views :: Energy, Tax Credits, Taxes

...the PUC has basically said that it expects the program to crash and burn....

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Sunday, December 31, 2017
What’s a Carbon Tax?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 656 Views :: Taxes

...Recently, the Hawaii Tax Review Commission’s primary consultant, PFM Group, issued a final report to the Commission asking it to review many taxing alternatives, including a $360M per year “carbon tax” on Hawaii consumers....

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Sunday, December 24, 2017
2018 Ballot: Constitutional Convention?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 596 Views :: Hawaii State Government

...The biggest exception to this gatekeeper rule is the constitutional convention, where the people elect delegates directly....

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Sunday, December 17, 2017
Gamers of the World Unite: You have nothing to lose but your micro-transactions
By Tom Yamachika @ 12:17 PM :: 637 Views :: Gambling

...looking to introduce legislation to combat predatory practices by game publishers. He called Star Wars: Battlefront II, an “online casino...."

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Sunday, December 10, 2017
Voluntary Additional Tax?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 852 Views :: Taxes

...This will give Warren Buffett et al a chance to “walk the walk” and pay millions more....

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Sunday, December 03, 2017
The Tax Administration Slush Fund
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 760 Views :: Ethics, Taxes

...the Tax Administration Special Fund is becoming an all-purpose slush fund for which corrective action is needed....

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Sunday, November 26, 2017
DOTAX Litigation: Are Car Rentals “Tourism Related Services”?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 867 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

Should they re-evaluate their tax filings now that the Department’s litigation position is out in the public for all to see?

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Sunday, November 19, 2017
DoTax: No End to Litigation, Part 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 790 Views :: Judiciary, Taxes

...The Department apparently regards the taxpayers here as lower life forms and wants to give them no respect.... 

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Sunday, November 12, 2017
Department of Taxation Customer Service – Don’t’ Be a Victim
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 893 Views :: Taxes

“I object to the use of the word ‘customer.’ It certainly doesn’t feel like that type of relationship to me. Maybe ‘hostage’?”

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Sunday, November 05, 2017
A DOTax Nightmare: No End to Litigation
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 964 Views :: Taxes

Halloween may be over, but we still have lots of scary stories!

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Sunday, October 29, 2017
Should Surfrider be Licensed to Pass Out Property Tax Exemptions?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1225 Views :: Environment, Ethics, Small Business, Tax Credits

...Recently, the Honolulu City Council approved on first reading Bill 80 (2017), which would award a real property tax exemption to “ocean-friendly restaurants.”...

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Sunday, October 22, 2017
DoTax Leaves Fewer Callers in the Dust
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 956 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

...Did DOTAX Turn the Corner on Customer Service?....

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Sunday, October 15, 2017
Incentives for Retirement Savings
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 995 Views :: Taxes

...During the past few months, the Tax Review Commission has been busy at work....

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Sunday, October 08, 2017
If You're Still Paying Use Tax on Amazon Purchases--Stop
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1972 Views :: Taxes

...those who buy things from Amazon and have been paying Use Tax can stop....

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Sunday, October 01, 2017
Fritz v. Department of Taxation, and Why You Should Care
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1278 Views :: Ethics, Taxes

Over the past several months, there has been a court fight brewing that could have changed how the Department of Taxation lobbies for legislation....

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Sunday, September 24, 2017
Harbors Division Soaking the Taxpayer – Again and Again
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1349 Views :: Jones Act, OHA, Small Business

...the Harbors Division isn’t satisfied with three years of triple-digit increases....

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Sunday, September 17, 2017
Legislature with U R Missing
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 969 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...there is "supposed to be" opportunity for participation....

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Sunday, September 10, 2017
Rail: Heads We Win, Tails You Lose
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1881 Views :: Rail, Taxes

...The special session rail bill, SB 4, provides that if the Foundation wins and the State is ordered to refund money to the City, then the State will scoop the same amount of money from the City’s share of transient accommodations tax....

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Sunday, September 03, 2017
Rail:  I Dunno About TAT
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1500 Views :: Rail, Taxes, Tourism

...The TAT, when it was enacted in 1986, was primarily meant to fund the Hawaii Convention Center....

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Sunday, August 27, 2017
Honolulu: For 1000s Property Tax Rate Will Quadruple Sept 1
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 2868 Views :: Honolulu County, Taxes

...People who aren’t aware of what happened may find themselves with property tax bills many times what they are now....

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Sunday, August 20, 2017
The Grand Skim of Things, Part 3
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1133 Views :: DHHL, Hawaii State Government

 ...one State department that has funds with no exemption, and refuses to pay it: the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).... 

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Sunday, August 13, 2017
The Grand Skim of Things, Part 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1053 Views :: Hawaii State Government

...the Central Services Skim has redirected about $45 million a year from the special funds to the state general fund....

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Sunday, August 06, 2017
The Grand Skim of Things (Part 1)
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1370 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Rail, Taxes

...A Hawaii law dating back to 1955, which now can be found at HRS section 36-27, says that 5% of any special fund’s income will be paid to the state general fund to pay “central service expenses....”

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Sunday, July 30, 2017
No Hanahana -- Kaukau Anyway
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1918 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...if you don’t work, you don’t eat....

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Sunday, July 23, 2017
EITC: Devil in the Details
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1047 Views :: Taxes

On July 10, 2017, Governor Ige proudly signed House Bill 209, a bill that establishes a Hawaii earned income tax credit.... 

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Sunday, July 16, 2017
How Rail Bonds Can Help Put Local Politicians in Jail
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1901 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...City officials were accused of certifying financial statements in 2002 and 2003 that were false because they failed to disclose that the city was purposely underfunding....

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Sunday, July 09, 2017
Mucking Around in the Past?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1187 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...HART stunned critics by cancelling a special audit that would have examined past cost overruns....

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Sunday, July 02, 2017
Carving Up the Price of Car Rentals
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1372 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

One of the legislative bills that is now being considered by Gov. David Ige is a curious bill, HB 735, involving the car rental industry.... 

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Sunday, June 25, 2017
Anatomy of Epic Fail on Rail
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1385 Views :: Rail, Taxes

To what or whom should we be looking for leadership to get us out of this mess?

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Sunday, June 18, 2017
Closing an Estate Tax Loophole?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:05 AM :: 1348 Views :: Taxes
...this bill seems like a knee-jerk reaction....
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Sunday, June 11, 2017
Reaching Back into the Past
By Tom Yamachika @ 12:01 AM :: 881 Views :: Taxes

...retroactive tax legislation....

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Sunday, June 04, 2017
Human Casualties at the Legislature, Part 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 11:31 PM :: 1500 Views :: Energy, Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...fifteen senators wanted to stick their thumbs in the Governor’s eye....

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Sunday, May 28, 2017
Human Casualties at the Legislature
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:09 AM :: 1150 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...If there is a position taken by a committee chair on one bill or one issue that is not reflecting the wishes of the committee, why can't the committee simply reject the chair's recommendation?....

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Sunday, May 21, 2017
GEMS: A Raid by Any Other Name…
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1253 Views :: Education K-12, Energy, Taxes

GEMS, as a program, has been a miserable failure, resulting primarily in a large wad of cash that is just sitting in the bank. That’s why our legislature got the bright idea to “use” it to prop up another miserable failure – the “Cool the Schools” initiative....

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Sunday, May 14, 2017
TrumpTax: Losing the State Tax Deduction
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1080 Views :: Taxes

On April 26, the Trump Administration released a document that contained a roadmap of sorts for an overhaul of the federal tax code....

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Sunday, May 07, 2017
The Rail Bill and Other Curiosities
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1925 Views :: Homelessness, Labor, Rail, Taxes

...Shut up or we’ll make you pay for rail too....

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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Making Money at the County Level
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:01 AM :: 1037 Views :: Taxes

How does a county raise money?

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Sunday, April 23, 2017
IRS: Hawaii Legislature Voted to Destroy Employee Retirement System
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 3847 Views :: Maui County, Health Care, Labor, Taxes

IRS Ruling: Act 1 Cash Payout to HGEA members would cost ERS its nonprofit status .... 

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Sunday, April 16, 2017
Tax Casualty? Maui County Carnival
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1529 Views :: Maui County, Jones Act, Taxes

The 2nd Annual Maui County Carnival, scheduled for April 6-9, 2017, has been cancelled. Skyrocketing state government fees have been blamed....

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Sunday, April 09, 2017
CreditAbles
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1160 Views :: Tax Credits, Taxes

Terms being bandied about include exemptions, deductions, and tax credits, and among tax credits there are the “CreditAbles” – refundable, nonrefundable, and assignable credits.....

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Sunday, April 02, 2017
Economic Nexus: Solving the Online Tax Dodge
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1173 Views :: Taxes

...SB 620 would redefine how our general excise tax laws define “doing business”....

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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Yes, Toto, Tourists Also Pay Real Property Tax
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1787 Views :: Education K-12, Labor, Taxes

...this study appeared to be an outgrowth of a move by our teachers’ union....

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Sunday, March 19, 2017
A Constitutional Amendment for Education Wars, Part 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1612 Views :: Education K-12, Taxes

...two bills are moving through the legislature on this subject....

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Sunday, March 12, 2017
A Constitutional Amendment for Education Wars
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1725 Views :: Education K-12, Labor, Taxes

The "shall make sufficient sums available" language is used in one more place in our constitution. It's in Article XII, Section 1, relating to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands....

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Sunday, March 05, 2017
One Integrated Approach to Tax Fairness?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1104 Views :: Taxes

House Bill 1586 is a multi-faceted bill that seeks to change some of the characteristics of our tax system....

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Sunday, February 26, 2017
Hawaii Legislature Obamacare Heavy
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1676 Views :: Health Care, Taxes

...the amount of the penalty could be as much as $695 x 2 adults plus $695 x ½ x 3 kids = $2,432.50....

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Sunday, February 19, 2017
The Need for Tax Vigilance in 2017
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1439 Views :: Taxes

The sheer number of bills related to tax or public finance is staggering. It's much more frenetic this year than in any other year I've been in this position....

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Sunday, February 12, 2017
UHERO Slams the Skim
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1592 Views :: Rail, Taxes

...the State is making a ton of money off the skim....

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Sunday, February 05, 2017
Unfunded Pensions – Tip of the Iceberg?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1847 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor, Taxes

Is a 7% return on investment sustainable into the future? Another organization that studied the issue said that a more realistic rate of return would be the “risk-free” rate, which they calculated at 2.344%....

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