Ward Opposes Speaker Souki's Pension Tax on Seniors
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward
Representative Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai - Kalama Valley) says he vehemently opposes a call made by Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki to tax Hawaii's wealthy, retiree population as outlined in the Speaker's opening day speech.
"Speaker Souki's call for a pension tax on older, well-off residents of Hawaii is like Governor Abercrombie's Pension Tax of 2011. It's simply unfair and a bad idea," Representative Ward said. "People work their entire lives to build a retirement nest-egg. Increasing taxes for older members of Hawaii's community who have worked hard for their financial success sends the wrong message to our youth and discourages the kind of activity that leads to economic prosperity," the Representative added.
Representative Ward feels we should reward, not punish, people who have worked hard all their lives and are now retired. The Representative serves as Vice Chair for the House Committee on Economic Development and Business.
Bid to tax seniors' pensions seems like suicide mission
Borreca: Somewhere, politicians must have a scale to weigh the risk of raising taxes in an election year.
There will be elections this year. Half of the state Senate, all of the state House and the governor all will be running.
So it was more than a little startling to hear House Speaker Rep. Joe Souki use his opening-day speech to propose that Hawaii revisit taxing pensions.
If there was a tipping point marking Gov. Neil Abercrombie's slide in popularity, it was in 2011 when he looked Hawaii's seniors in the eye and said he wanted a piece of their pensions.
Abercrombie was quickly opposed by the local AARP, causing Abercrombie to launch a disastrous, name-calling attack on the AARP -- and his downward spiral was on....
In an interview Wednesday, Souki said he thought he could get a pension tax through the House.
"I don't think it will be that hotly contested," Souki said, adding "I can get passage."
After that, there are no assurances that the Senate wants to look at a pension tax, so why would Souki risk exposing his House Demo-crats?
Some political observers noted this week that House members are somewhat dependent on the governor for favors, such as construction projects and other help during an election year. Souki acknowledged that the House "gains leverage in working with the administration."
"It is not everything, but it gives us a slight edge," Souki said.
AARP: Join Us for Legislative Updates March 5
read ... Suicide?