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Monday, January 13, 2014
Services Planned for Taxpayer Advocate Lowell Kalapa
By Selected News Articles @ 1:27 PM :: 8116 Views :: Taxes

Funeral services planned for taxpayers' champion

SA: Friends may call from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Diamond Head Mortuary Chapel. A service will begin at 6:30 in the chapel. Aloha attire.

Private graveside services are to be held at a later date. Condolences can be sent to www.hawaii­

Kalapa is survived by brother Leighton, sister-in-law Patty, nephew David and niece Kelly.

read ... Services

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Lowell Kalapa: A defender of Hawaii's poor taxpayer

Borreca: When he was being candid, Lowell Kalapa, president and executive director of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, was unquotable.

While no newspaper's legal department would tolerate Kalapa's devastating characterizations of Honolulu's politicians and business elite, getting the lowdown from Lowell was always a treat.

Fashioning his quotes into something for a family newspaper took a bit of negotiating, but learning Kalapa's view on state financial policy, tax theory and practice was worth the effort....

"Not everyone liked what he said. Sometimes those blunt comments made our job when we were raising funds for the foundation more difficult," O'Malley admitted.

Even in Honolulu's business circles, Kalapa refused to bow to the influential if he thought they were not supporting valid tax policies.

"As a consequence, some positions he took put him in disfavor with some of the big guys in town. So I had great respect for him," said Henderson.

For instance, Hawaii is one of a few states that taxes all citizens, even those at the poverty level — something that former Gov. Linda Lingle tried to change and an attempt that Kalapa supported.

"We always say we are helping the poor, but we are taxing the poor," Kalapa said at the time. "Don't give me this about how we are here for the poor; give me a tax plan that is fair."

read ... Kalapa

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Tenacious Taxpayer Advocate Lowell Kalapa dies

HR: ...Whether Kalapa was taking on the public unions, saying the taxpayers couldn’t afford their pay increases and benefits packages; challenging the tech and film industry sectors saying they shouldn’t get tax credits; or fighting more tax hikes proposed by state and county government, Kalapa was a stalwart advocate for Hawaii’s taxpayers.

He was a well-known presence at the Hawaii State Capitol and city hall, and government leaders frequently called on him for advice, facts and opinion.

Panos Prevedouros, PhD, professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii, who also ran for Honolulu mayor, said Kalapa was a treasured resource.

“I wish I had spend more time with Lowell talking taxes and Hawaii stats. He was a helpful and reliable advisor during both my runs for mayor. One of the greatest public policy resources in Hawaii is gone forever,” Prevedouros said.

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, who formerly headed the Tax Foundation of Hawaii before Kalapa took it over, said the untimely death of Kalapa is a blow to taxpayers and the public alike.

“Lowell was Hawaii's long time, unmatched, public finance watchdog. Lowell educated countless thousands of local residents on the importance of fiscal transparency, from radio and television appearances, weekly columns and his famous "Arnie Aloha Family" Tax Booklets,” Slom said.

read ... Lowell Kalapa

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Lowell Kalapa was one of the most influential voices in the state Legislature

HNN:  He never held an elected office but Lowell Kalapa was one of the most influential voices in the state Legislature....

"There won't be another Lowell Kalapa and that's a shame," said state Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai.

"I think that part of his legacy was saving us from worse tax consequence and even worse decisions."

Senate President Donna Kim said she didn't agree with Kalapa on every tax issue but said she always respected his opinions, which were backed by facts and figures.

"As far as the Legislature is concerned, he always was the second opinion. I saw him as a watchdog," Kim said.

"I always felt we needed more Lowell Kalapas."

He often expressed concerns about the impacts of higher taxes on the middle class and the poor as well as the business community.

"He cared about the fairness of the tax system for all -- for the little guy on the street and big business," said Michael O'Malley, president of the Tax Foundation's board....

He also served on the boards of several low-income housing companies and social services such as the Self-Help Housing Corp. of Hawaii and Parents and Children Together.

The Tax Foundation's board will meet tomorrow to discuss an interim replacement.

read ... Kalapa

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Tax Foundation chief Lowell Kalapa dies

SA: Lowell Kalapa, the longtime executive director of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii, died today, the city medical examiner confirmed. He was 64....

"There were times we disagreed, but he provided an opinion that was very straightforward, and he gave a pretty good history and perspective that were often missing," said House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke. "I don't know anyone who will be able to fill that void."

Luke said no one could explain the difference between the state's excise tax and a common sales tax like Kalapa could.

Even a political veteran like Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, a former Senate Ways and Means Committee chairwoman, said she always read Kalapa's testimony to gain insights and perspectives she might have missed.

"You could always count on him to tell it like it is," Kim said. "There are just so many technical things on taxes, and you just can't be up on everything, so I'd always get a good cursory sense (of proposed legislation) by reading his testimony."...

More importantly, Slom said, "Lowell Kalapa will go down as the finest financial analyst and watchdog for taxpayers that we've ever had, and ever will. He's unequal and unmatched."

Former Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano said Kalapa was a fiscal conservative and often at odds with his own views. Nonetheless, he said, he respected Kalapa "because he provided a very valuable voice, especially in this town where you don't have too many people speaking out on anything."...

Service details were not immediately available.

read ... Tax Foundation chief Lowell Kalapa dies

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Remembering My Friend Lowell Kalapa

CB: Lowell Kalapa was at my house a few days ago for a Christmas lunch of salmon, wild rice, cranberry salad and many bottles of Pinot Noir.

Our usual Christmas tradition involved food and a lot of wine. Lowell and I have celebrated Christmas together for more than 30 years. When we were younger, our celebrations were wilder....

read ... Denby Fawcett

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KHON: Tax expert Lowell Kalapa dies at 64

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released the following statement:

"I am saddened by the sudden passing of Lowell Kalapa, who headed the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

"Lowell worked tirelessly to advocate for Hawaii taxpayers. He had a no-nonsense, unique and independent perspective on government, budgets, and tax policy.

"Lowell was a nationally recognized expert on taxation, and had enormous credibility in the halls of the Hawaii State Legislature. He is irreplaceable and will be missed."

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe released the following statement:

"I was deeply saddened when I learned of the loss of Lowell Kalapa, who has been the president of the Board of Directors for OHA's Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund since September 2011. Under his leadership within the past year, the board approved $15.2 million in Malama loans to 229 Hawaiian borrowers, who used the assistance to start businesses, improve homes and continue their education. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and my gratitude to him for his meaningful contribution to our efforts to create a brighter future for all Hawaiians."

read … KHON

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