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Sunday, September 10, 2017
September 10, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:43 PM :: 3431 Views

CNHA 'Hoodwinks' Native Hawaiian Charter Schools out of $225K

The Power of School Choice

How Much Does Your State Collect in Corporate Income Taxes Per Capita?

Rail: Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

Counties Begin Pushing for more Tax Hikes in 2018 Legislative Session

MN: …One of Maui County’s proposals that will be sent to HSAC for consideration is an amendment to the transient accommodations tax, Hawaii’s hotel room tax. Another proposal would increase revenue for each county’s affordable housing fund through a conveyance tax applied to luxury properties.

The proposed legislation to revamp TAT collections would allow for millions of dollars previously uncollected to fund necessary services and infrastructure improvements at the county level.

When a consumer purchases a hotel stay from an online remarketer, for example, at a rate of $200 per night, an additional 13.42 percent (4.167 percent general excise tax and 9.25 percent TAT), or $26.84, is also paid to the online company for a total of $226.84.

Presently, the state does not collect the full amount of TAT from accommodation remarketers like Expedia or Orbitz. A remarketer, in most cases makes, its profit by marking up a hotel stay, which it receives at a wholesale price, let’s say $150.

Remarketers are required to pay GET taxes on the $200 rate. Because of the way Hawaii’s TAT law is written, TAT only needs to be paid to the state on the wholesale price of $150, not the $200, despite consumers paying taxes on the higher amount. Remarketers currently pocket the difference between taxes collected and what is required to be paid to the state….

The second proposal hopes to generate revenue for affordable housing by imposing a 1 percent conveyance tax on high-end luxury properties over $2 million. The revenue generated from the tax would be deposited into each respective county’s affordable housing fund where the property was sold. The measure is intended to assist each county to accelerate efforts to create additional affordable housing….

read … Tax Hikes

Waikiki: A never-ending parade of emergency vehicles that cater to the health problems of the homeless

SA: …I visit Waikiki on a daily basis, and have many friends among the homeless. I’ve yet to meet a single person who wants to enter a shelter.

Why should they?

Life near the world-famous beach is great! In addition to their $300-month food allowance, they can count on a generous meal daily from churches, plus free pizza on Tuesday afternoons.

On top of this, the homeless receive free health care. Consider:

I recently noticed that the big toes of a homeless friend of mine (“Bob”) were bandaged. What happened?

“I got sores on my toes.”

“Were you treated at the Waikiki Health?” (A few blocks away).

“No,” he said. “Queen’s Hospital!”

“How’d you get there?”

“I called 911 for an ambulance and went straight to Emergency.”

Waikiki residents tell me there’s a never-ending parade of emergency vehicles that cater to the health problems of the homeless. Fire trucks are the first responders. Then ambulances…..

Queen’s treated Bob right. Staff bathed his feet, applied dressing, bandaged him up, and sent him back to Waikiki (by taxi, no less), courtesy of the hospital.

How’d he pay for this wonderful service?

“I’ve got HMSA QUEST,” he told me, which is free for the homeless — and very expensive for the hapless Hawaii taxpayer. Most likely, he could have fixed his problem at an ABC for a few bucks.

So, Bob tied up a squadron of medical professionals for over an hour. What if a real emergency had occurred while he was happily riding to the hospital? Like, someone having a heart attack?

Another example:

A friend — Fran, a 78-year-old, retired teacher — has serious mobility issues. She uses a walker and travels to Waikiki by bus. Returning home, she likes to rest on a bench near her busy bus stop. But a homeless lady was taking up the entire bench with her stuff. When Fran kindly asked her to move her things, the woman screamed:

“I have spatial anxiety!”

She angrily refused, and then unexpectedly punched Fran on the arm!

It was her bench! She “owned” it, and nobody was going to move her!

Along the shoreline, homeless campers occupy the grass and the arbors. They’re there, night and day, often drinking, with their suitcases, inflatable mattresses, blankets and garbage, as if they possess a deed to the property. They deprive beachgoers, especially parents with kids, of shady areas away from the burning sun.

And our visitors? Waikiki is not the“paradise” they thought. They are appalled by the squalor…..

read … Apply tough love to Waikiki homeless

What is being done to alleviate Hawaii’s physician shortage

KHON: …According to the Hawaii Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Hawaii is currently short 450 physicians, but when you take islands and specialties into account there’s a shortage jumps to 808.

Twenty-five percent of the doctor shortfall is Primary Care Providers.

Dr. Kelley Withy, the director of the AHEC at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, said that’s not the only issue Hawaii is dealing with, “The problem is we only have 100 open positions for doctors right now, so even if we had 800 doctors it wouldn’t matter. We could only hire 100.”

Dr. Withy went on to explain that, “doctors used to go into practice on their own. They used to just open an office. Now they don’t want to do that. It’s a lot risk, they have a lot of debt, it’s difficult to do, to hire people, to fire people, to take the risk of the insurance paying you, and so they’d rather just get a job. ”

One of the ways AHEC hopes to remedy this problem is through its ‘Bridge to Practice’ mentoring program that connects private practice doctors near the age of retirement with younger doctors.

“We’re trying to get young doctors to meet the senior doctors so they can take over their practice when they want to retire,” Dr. Withy said….

Related: Hawaii: Fewest Nurses Per Capita in USA

read … What is being done to alleviate Hawaii’s physician shortage

Hawaii Civil Defense: "It is very difficult. We do not know."​

WHT: …“It is very difficult” to develop a response plan with the rogue nation’s technological advances, said Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency….

One of the questions answered is whether planning for a North Korean attack is futile given the high casualty rate.

The answer given as of Aug. 8 was that “current estimates of human casualties based on the size (yield) of North Korean nuclear weapon technology strongly suggests an explosion less than three miles in diameter. More than 90 percent of the population would survive the direct effects of such an explosion.”

How the assessment will change remains to be seen.

The question also was asked: “Are the neighbor islands safe?”

“We do not know,” Hawaii Emergency Management said. “North Korean missile technology may not be adequately advanced to accurately target a specific island or location. Although most analysts believe the desired target will be Oahu given the concentration of military and government facilities, a missile may stray and impact the open ocean or even a neighbor island. All areas of the state of Hawaii must consider the possibility of missile impact.”

read … N. Korean threat has state re-evaluating nuclear risk

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