Monday, October 22, 2018
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Sunday, October 21, 2018
Do We Really Have a Spending Ceiling?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 196 Views :: Hawaii History, Taxes

...another provision that was passed by the 1978 Constitutional Convention to assure our fiscal health—and what our lawmakers have done to marginalize it....

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Sunday, October 14, 2018
General Income Tax Credit: How Legislators Subverted Will of 1978 ConCon
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 432 Views :: Hawaii History, Tax Credits

...The saga of this credit tells us a little about a bold move undertaken in the 1978 Constitutional Convention and our lawmakers’ reaction....

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Sunday, October 07, 2018
Guess Which Agency May Be Forgoing Millions in Federal Dollars?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 469 Views :: Education K-12, Health Care, Taxes

...It is very tempting for a DOE administrator to think, “There’s no benefit for us if we do all this work because the Legislature needs to fund us anyway...."

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Sunday, September 30, 2018
Guess Which Agency Can Impose State Tax?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 670 Views :: Education K-12, Development, Taxes, Cost of Living

...This law, which we have discussed before, recently has been used to create a “school impact district” that goes from Kalihi to Ala Moana.... 

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Saturday, September 29, 2018
HSTA Rent Tax: 14 Groups Support Counties Appeal to Supreme Court
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:36 PM :: 676 Views :: Education K-12, Taxes

...The Tax Foundation of Hawaii, a nonprofit taxpayer watchdog organization, together with 14 other organizations, businesses, and individuals, submitted a court filing supporting the Counties’ request that the Hawaii Supreme Court void the ballot measure for school funds....

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Sunday, September 23, 2018
Say It’s a Tax!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 548 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, Taxes

...the ballot question doesn’t say anything at all about tax.  Does that make the ballot question misleading or deceptive?....  

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Sunday, September 16, 2018
Historic Homes--$2M Tax Exemption Gift to 342 Households
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 776 Views :: Honolulu County, Taxes

...the City is giving the exemption to 342 homes and forgoing taxation on $600 million in property value, translating to a revenue loss exceeding $2 million....

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Sunday, September 09, 2018
Taking Exemptions Without Really Knowing
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 521 Views :: Taxes

...These days, our General Excise Tax (GET) contains exemptions and reduced rates that are supposed to reflect commercial reality but often contain leaps of faith....

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Sunday, September 02, 2018
Kauai Cash Grab: Long wait for Homeowners Property Tax Exemption
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 963 Views :: Kauai County, Ethics, Taxes

...How long do you think it takes between buying a home on Kauai and having the “home exemption” effective for real property tax there?....

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Sunday, August 26, 2018
Raising Taxes Means Decreasing Prices?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 795 Views :: Taxes, Cost of Living

...Maybe it’s just a question of semantics....

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Sunday, August 19, 2018
Cashing In on Production Credits
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 592 Views :: Tax Credits

...48 productions registered for the credit, with estimated qualified expenditures north of $268 million in exchange for $55 million in tax credits....

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Sunday, August 12, 2018
Weekends Safe from Cackling Lawyers?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 851 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Taxes

Back in 2014, we wrote in this space about a nasty Honolulu City & County rule involving real property tax appeals....

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Sunday, August 05, 2018
Wayfair – Playing Catch-Up
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 975 Views :: Small Business, Taxes

...One good thing is that Hawaii has made its position known early, so that those businesses who choose to compete in our marketplace will know what the rules are....

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Sunday, July 29, 2018
The Wayfair Switch in Time
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 854 Views :: Small Business, Taxes

...In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Wayfair v. South Dakota case. It was a huge turning point in constitutional law involving the ability of states to tax “online sellers”....

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Sunday, July 22, 2018
Who Can We Beat Up with Property Tax?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1106 Views :: Taxes

....the possibility of new state-mandated property taxes....

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Sunday, July 15, 2018
HB2748: $500,000,000 Hole in Budget
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1256 Views :: Development, Tax Credits

... $200 million, or most of it, is headed out the door with no visible means of getting it back.....

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Sunday, July 08, 2018
If You Don’t Rock the Boat, How Do You Change Its Direction?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1128 Views :: First Amendment, Hawaii State Government

...When many of us in Hawaii grew up, we were taught to go with the flow....

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Sunday, July 01, 2018
It’s Not Easy Bein’ — an Employer
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1109 Views :: Labor, Small Business

...Before I hire the worker, I need to comply with laws saying what I can and can’t ask the prospective employee....

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Sunday, June 17, 2018
Can’t You Just Change the Agenda?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1545 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...Recently, State Auditor Les Kondo shocked the public and some Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board members when he charged, at a HART board meeting, that HART employees had been required to record all interviews with State Auditor personnel....

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Sunday, June 10, 2018
What Does State Constitution Say About Balanced Budget?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1162 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...here is a question for you....

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Sunday, June 03, 2018
The California Stupidity Fund, Part 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1363 Views :: Tax Credits, Taxes

...Now, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury have indicated that they are going to weigh in....

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Sunday, May 27, 2018
We Can’t See It or Touch It, But We Can Tax It!
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1424 Views :: Small Business, Taxes

...HB 2416 applies Hawaii Use Tax to intangible property....

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Sunday, May 20, 2018
Finding the Magic Bullet: City’s Share of Rail Administrative Costs
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1548 Views :: Honolulu County, Rail, Taxes

...In a recent hearing in the Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee, council leaders say that they might have found a “magic bullet”....

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Sunday, May 13, 2018
​Reactionary Reaction to Resort Fees
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1334 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

...SB 2699 proposes to make “resort fees” subject to our Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)....

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Sunday, May 06, 2018
Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle…for Our Keiki?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1307 Views :: Education K-12, Taxes

...The amendment, if approved by the voters, does not define what investment real property is. Nor does it contain any limitations on the taxing power. Almost all the details are left up to the state legislature....

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Sunday, April 29, 2018
HB2432: The Tax Office Said So, So It Must Be True!
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 1383 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

...HB 2432, one of the bills actively being considered this session, proposes to hike the “transient occupancy tax,” or TOT, by an as-yet-unspecified amount....

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Sunday, April 22, 2018
Mighty Morphin Power Bills!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1281 Views :: Ethics, Taxes

...lots of surprises as lawmakers press forward....

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Sunday, April 15, 2018
220% Conveyance Tax Hike: HB207 Gut n Replace
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1961 Views :: Ethics, Taxes

...The Feds Gave You a Break? Now We, the State, Can Turn the Screws!....

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Sunday, April 08, 2018
Can Government Avoid Its Responsibilities with LLCs?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1390 Views :: Ethics, OHA

... Can you say 'ankle shackles?' ....

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Sunday, April 01, 2018
Financial Planning for a $200M Per Year Deficit?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1105 Views :: Taxes

...why do we have a current state financial plan that spends more than $200 million every year over available revenues?....

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Sunday, March 25, 2018
The California Stupidity Fund
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1711 Views :: Taxes

...California is now trying to enact a workaround, and some Hawaii lawmakers are actively considering similar legislation....

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Sunday, March 18, 2018
An Opportunity for Opportunity Zones
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1233 Views :: Tax Credits

...Ige needs to take action by March 21, 2018 to take advantage of "qualified opportunity zones"....

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Sunday, March 11, 2018
Groundhog Day in the Hawaii Senate
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1192 Views :: Taxes

... “It wasn’t that long ago that I was before this same committee testifying on a very similar bill on the very same tax provision, seeking to do the very same thing....”

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Sunday, March 04, 2018
By the Way, Could We Have $50 Million More?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1778 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes, Tourism

...In the middle of this process, sometimes a letter from the Governor arrives saying, “We need to make some adjustments...."

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Sunday, February 25, 2018
Teachers Union Grabs for Billion Dollar Slush Fund
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1855 Views :: Education K-12, Taxes

...Do the problems in our classrooms have anything to do with special funds at all?....

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Sunday, February 18, 2018
Trump Tax In Hawaii?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1742 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...how to adapt the new federal tax law changes to Hawaii....

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Sunday, February 11, 2018
​The Value of a Refundable Credit
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1421 Views :: Tax Credits

...In the 2017 legislative session, our legislature passed an earned income tax credit (EITC)....

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Sunday, February 04, 2018
How Much Does a Crosswalk Cost?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1356 Views :: Hawaii State Government

...Senate Bill 2004, tells the story of just one signalized crosswalk yet to be built....

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Sunday, January 28, 2018
Oops! DoTax Math Error!
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1406 Views :: Taxes

...“math error authority” brings to mind one of the failings in Hawaii’s tax system....

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Sunday, January 21, 2018
Small Business Tax Cut: Will Hawaii Legislature Conform?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1276 Views :: Taxes

...lawmakers will be asked to conform our Hawaii income tax law to the federal changes that have taken place in 2017....

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Sunday, January 14, 2018
Trump Tax: Will Hawaii Legislature Conform?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 2332 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 :: 2323 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 :: 1406 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 :: 1822 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 :: 1240 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 :: 1424 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 :: 1496 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 :: 1752 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 :: 1753 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 :: 1422 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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