- Re: 2011 House and Senate Tax Bills that survived first crossover
- Raising taxes and cutting government ‘costs’ are one in the same
The good news is with the first crossover of bills in the state Legislature, the number of bills remaining alive has been reduced from 3,224 to 710 bills, as of today.
The bad news is that public services were not the priority. A growing government deficit is what seems to have captured the attention of our lawmakers once again.
This morning on the Rick Hamada radio program, House Majority Leader Rep. Blake Oshiro said that tax increases slated to pass this session amount to $550 million to help cover the $771.9 million budget shortfall over the current biennium, along with cutting government costs by $200 million.
Note that the idea of cutting government costs does not necessarily mean cutting government, if you consider that repealing or delaying a tax credit is cutting government “costs” by in essence raising taxes. So in this case, raising taxes and cutting government “costs” are one in the same.
In doing a search of the bills that survived crossover listed on the legislative Web site, 84 bills showed up with the word “tax” in them. These bills have tax implications that include such things as: a tobacco tax increase, a barrel tax increase, car ownership costs increases, repeal of income tax credits, raiding funds from special funds to go into the general fund, raiding pensions by imposing a new tax liability, delaying tax credits for businesses that have invested money in certain areas of the economy with the promise of an immediate tax credit, and capping the visitor tax (TAT) money that is earmarked for the counties to instead be kept in the state coffers.
Unlike the private sector that cuts costs by actually reducing costs, don’t be fooled when you hear the phrase “cutting government” because ultimately that means more costs to citizens.
To see what bills have survived crossover, go to http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/RptPassedFirstX.aspx?timeframe=all
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