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Entries for 'Tom Yamachika'

Sunday, May 19, 2019
Gut-n-Replace 2019
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 656 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Taxes, Tourism

...the law’s discrimination against nonresidents was prohibited by a part of the U.S. Constitution that the deputy attorney general didn’t consider.  “Oops,” the deputy said....

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Sunday, May 12, 2019
A Threat to Judicial Independence
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 509 Views :: Ethics, Judiciary

... We control the purse strings, so we said no to a lot of their money. They reversed some of their decisions. We gave them some money. So the tension worked ....

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Sunday, May 05, 2019
Carbon Credits
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 576 Views :: Energy, Environment, Tax Credits, Taxes

... Department of Land and Natural Resources is doing a reforestation project in East Maui. It’s hired a vendor to certify the project for “carbon credits.” Why are they doing that if we don’t even have a carbon tax ....

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Sunday, April 28, 2019
OHA’s LLCs: The Noose Is Tightening
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 715 Views :: Ethics, OHA

...OHA assets cannot be shielded from accountability (to both the Trustees and the general public) simply by tossing them into LLCs....

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Sunday, April 21, 2019
HIDOE Achieves Success with Job Order Contracting
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 700 Views :: Education K-12

...they just make a list of the projects and call them “deferred maintenance”....

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Sunday, April 14, 2019
Blankety Blank
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1100 Views :: Taxes

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

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Sunday, April 07, 2019
Revenue Raisers Already Sent to the Governor
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1300 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

...our legislature has a dogged focus on new taxes....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Judgments Aren’t Necessarily the End of Litigation
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1133 Views :: Judiciary, Taxes, Tourism

...Before the ink was dry on those judgments, the Department of Taxation produced additional assessments against the taxpayers, this time on car rental commissions....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Post Those Tax Returns, Darn It!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1011 Views :: Ethics

...if we think it’s such a great idea, why don’t we apply it to state executives, judges, or legislators?....

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Thursday, March 21, 2019
Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Rail Surcharge Lawsuit
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:11 PM :: 1369 Views :: Ethics, Rail, Taxes

"...Despite the rejection of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, our efforts were key in the legislature’s decision to drop the skim from 10% to 1% during the 2017 Special Session—this was a win for all taxpayers in this State...."

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Sunday, March 17, 2019
Blank the Amount, Defect the Date
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1270 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, Higher Education, Taxes

"SB 1474 Senate Draft 2 that proposes an increase in the GET now specifies '__ per cent or $ _____'"

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Sunday, March 10, 2019
Can’t You Spare Half a Penny for Education?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1051 Views :: Education K-12, Taxes

...what we really need to do is fix the inefficiency....

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Sunday, March 03, 2019
Beware of Tax Software?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1143 Views :: Taxes

...individuals, gritting and gnashing their teeth, scour through their financial records and begin the arduous process.... 

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Sunday, February 24, 2019
Individual Development Accounts, Version 2.0
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 730 Views :: Cost of Living

...If an eligible person deposits money into the account, a sponsor such as a government agency matches the deposit....

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Sunday, February 17, 2019
Squirreling Away Money at the Dept. of Transportation
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1266 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...The auditor found that they have lots of money lying around. More than $120 million in accounts that haven’t been even touched for five years....

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Sunday, February 10, 2019
Creativity Abounds at our Legislature, Pt. 2
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 746 Views :: Taxes

...creative tax-related bills at our legislature....

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Sunday, February 03, 2019
Tax Hike Creativity Abounds at our Legislature
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 856 Views :: Taxes

...This year, our legislature once again is poised to consider revenue raising – namely, taxes in new and creative ways....

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Sunday, January 27, 2019
Ask Not for Whom the H-1 Tolls…
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1132 Views :: Honolulu County, Taxes

...Recently, we have heard the term “congestion pricing” bandied about as a way of improving traffic congestion here, and of raising more money....

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Sunday, January 20, 2019
DOE’s Repair Backlog Is How Much Again?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 948 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics

...In a budget briefing at the legislature at about this time last year, Department of Education officials reported that their backlog of repair and maintenance jobs was $293 million, and they were patting themselves on the back because it was a significant drop from the $392 million reported in 2010....

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Sunday, January 13, 2019
Zero-Based Budgeting
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1100 Views :: Hawaii State Government

...Today, we examine “zero-based budgeting,” an idea that has been around for a while but was recently championed by House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke....  

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Sunday, January 06, 2019
So Did You Meet Your Goals This Year? -- Um, We Dunno
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1245 Views :: Hawaii State Government

... the agencies are supposed to come up with a “variance report” that is supposed to list how much they were budgeted, how much was spent, and a narrative explanation for any significant difference ....

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Sunday, December 30, 2018
No, Killing a Special Fund Doesn’t Kill People
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1554 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...DLNR needs to understand that the money in these funds isn’t “their” money. It’s taxpayer money....

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Sunday, December 23, 2018
Carbon Tax: Will You Fiddle While Paris Burns?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 2023 Views :: Energy, Environment, Tax Credits, Taxes

...If enacted, the carbon tax would be the fifth special tax imposed on fuel....

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Sunday, December 16, 2018
The County Strikes Back (part 4)
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1431 Views :: Maui County, Taxes, Tourism

...We continue with our series about a timeshare association suing Maui County seeking to invalidate its “Time Share” property classification, with the county then striking back.... 

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Sunday, December 09, 2018
The County Strikes Back (part 3)
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:01 AM :: 1531 Views :: Maui County, Taxes, Tourism

...We continue with our series about a timeshare association suing the county, with the county then back assessing the association for $10 million.... 

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Sunday, December 02, 2018
The County Strikes Back (part 2)
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1630 Views :: Maui County, Taxes, Tourism

...Timeshare association sues county; county then back assesses association for $10 million.... 

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Monday, November 26, 2018
The County Strikes Back (part 1)
By Tom Yamachika @ 2:03 PM :: 1519 Views :: Maui County, Taxes, Tourism

...a long and hotly litigated property tax case from Maui....

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Sunday, November 18, 2018
Walden versus OHA’s LLCs
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 1696 Views :: Ethics, OHA

...These companies received cash and property, including 1,600+ acres of land in Waimea Valley, from OHA....

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Sunday, November 11, 2018
Oh? Can’t We Keep HART’s Funding Sources “Pure”?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 2022 Views :: Rail, Taxes

...For a long time, I was wondering what the authors of 07-001 were smoking....

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Sunday, November 04, 2018
It’s Real Property Because We Said So!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1976 Views :: Maui County, Energy, Taxes

...a case now pending in the Hawaii Supreme Court that may give us some insight on county real property taxes and their limits....

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Sunday, October 28, 2018
Take-Aways from the “Con-Am” Argument
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1156 Views :: Taxes

...a prior Hawaii Supreme Court case, Cieri v. Leticia Query Realty, 80 Haw. 54 (1995), said, “[R]eal estate is, particularly in Hawai`i, both scarce and expensive. As a result, the purchase of real estate or a residence likely is the largest ‘investment’ a person in Hawai`i may make in a lifetime.”....

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Sunday, October 21, 2018
Do We Really Have a Spending Ceiling?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1242 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 :: 1456 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 :: 1708 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 :: 2191 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 :: 1605 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 :: 1618 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 :: 1547 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 :: 1008 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 :: 1931 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 :: 1543 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 :: 1152 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 :: 1608 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 :: 1901 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 :: 1527 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 :: 1504 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 :: 2247 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 :: 1886 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 :: 1836 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 :: 2325 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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