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Monday, July 18, 2016
Letters to the Editor July, 2016
By Letters to the Editor @ 12:50 AM :: 5340 Views

CPA Mobility—Accountants Denounce Dale Kobayashi

Dear Editor:     July 18, 2016

Two candidates claim to be endorsed by the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants (HAPA) in the District 23 race for the State House of Representatives. Contrary to the attached assertion posted on July 12, 2016 on candidate Dale Kobayashi’s campaign website, the HAPA Political Action Committee wishes to clarify that it endorses only one candidate in the District 23 House race, Representative Isaac W. Choy

At the beginning of his 2016 election campaign, candidate Kobayashi eliminated himself from consideration for HAPA - PAC endorsement when he announced himself to be a champion of CPA Mobility. HAPA is against “no notice, no fees” mobility for CPAs or any other licensed profession for three reasons: 1) jobs, 2) taxes, and 3) consumer protection.

As advocated by candidate Kobayashi, CPA Mobility would outsource local jobs to mainland and foreign accountants. These accountants would be able to practice public accounting in Hawaii under different CPA licensing rules, and without obtaining a temporary permit or a Hawaii CPA license and regular permit to practice.

As shown in HAPA’s past studies, Hawaii General Excise taxes were not paid by 70% of out-of-state CPA firms whose employees/owners obtained temporary permits to practice in Hawaii.  Giving out-of-state CPAs and their firms "no notice, no fees" special privileges would place local businesses that pay Hawaii taxes at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, enforcement action against out-of-state or foreign accountants would be cost prohibitive for Hawaii’s government and consumers due to Hawaii’s distance from the mainland and foreign countries.

Representative Choy has a long history of fighting to preserve and expand local jobs for local people, to help local businesses receive equitable tax treatment, and to protect Hawaii’s consumers. That is why the HAPA - PAC endorses Representative Choy’s candidacy in District 23. (Additional information on CPA mobility may be obtained from the HAPA website at http://hawaiiassociationofpublicaccountants.com/.)

As long as candidate Kobayashi remains a champion for outsourcing Hawaii’s jobs to mainland and foreign professionals who practice in Hawaii without Hawaii licenses and permits, the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants - PAC cannot endorse him for any public office.

Very truly yours,

Marilyn M. Niwao, J.D., CPA, CGMA

Chairperson, Hawaii Association of Public Accountants – PAC

  *   *   *   *   *

HB1850: Governor’s Vacation Rental Veto Perplexing

Dear Editor,      July 14, 2016

I am perplexed by the governor’s veto of HB1850.  The rationale given for the veto does not make sense, and I hope that you are able to shed light on whatever true motive lies behind the veto.

The governor reasons that 1)  The bill would encourage more rentals lacking county permission, and 2)  The bill would shield unpermitted rentals from enforcement of county statues.

I don’t understand how a bill that would force rentals to pay taxes would encourage more people to jump into the game.  The bill would force them to either raise their rates or lose 9.25% of their income to transient accommodation tax, not much of an incentive.

Neither do I understand why the counties who restrict vacation rentals would be kept from enforcing those restrictions by this bill.  The bill would simply create a tax collection process, it would offer no mantle of legality to those who are not abiding by county laws.  They are two completely separate issues. 

It’s not secret that the number of Air B&B rentals has mushroomed in very recent years.  As county-permitted, transient accommodation tax-paying B&B owners in competition with these rentals, we have felt the impact.  I welcomed this bill as something that would level the playing field, and have to suspect that there are reasons for the veto that the governor does not wish to disclose.

Sincerely,

Steve Roberson

Honokaa, Hawaii


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