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Monday, October 27, 2014
Ige 'Education Tax' Would Hit All UH Graduates' Income
By News Release @ 5:26 PM :: 5470 Views :: Higher Education, Taxes

Senator Ige Has No New Solutions For College Affordability

Amazingly, Ige Actually Once Sponsored An 'Education Tax' On All UH Graduates' Income

News Release from Hawaii Republican Party

HONOLULU (October 27, 2014) -- Over the weekend, a new study showed that Hawaii led the nation in college tuition increases in the last five years, debunking Senator Ige's claims about his leadership on helping our students. To the contrary, Senator Ige once sponsored an outrageous proposal to tax all University of Hawaii students for 10 years after graduation.

"Rather than making it more affordable for families to send their children to college, Senator Ige has actually supported efforts to make it worse. Senator Ige has made it very clear that he will only offer the same failed policies of the last four years that have seen tuition rates and the cost of living soar in Hawaii." --Hawaii Republican Party Communications Advisor Ted Kwong

BACKGROUND:

A New Study Showed Hawaii Led The Country In College Tuition Increases. "A new data map courtesy of Fitch Ratings shows which states have the highest college tuition growth (for both public and private institutions) in the last five years and to what degree wage growth hasn’t kept up. Hawaii’s tuition increases easily beat out the rest of the country with an astonishing 34 percent hike over the past five years. The Oct 23 release indicates that wages there have only increased by just under 12 percent. (Separately this week, Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on Hawaii’s AA general obligation rating from positive to stable, meaning it’s unlikely the state will see a credit rating upgrade in the near future.)" (Liz Farmer, " The Week in Public Finance: College Ain't Cheap, Green Bond Fever and Job Problems," Governing, 10/27/14)

Senator Ige Once Even Sponsored A Gross Income Tax On All University Of Hawaii Graduates. "Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige, who is running for governor as a Democrat, declined to comment, but the Hawaii GOP criticized him this week for sponsoring several bills to increase taxes while in the Senate. Ige proposed a gross income tax on every graduate of the University of Hawaii for the first 10 years of employment after graduation. With his Democratic colleagues, he supported measures to increase the state’s general excise and increase Hawaii’s income tax to 11 percent." ("Hawaii worst for tax burdens, report says," Hawaii Reporter, 10/17/14)

“Education tax. (a) There is hereby imposed on every graduate of the University of Hawaii an education tax. The tax shall be levied and assessed against the gross income of each graduate for the first ten years of employment after graduation (b) The rate of tax shall be one-quarter of one per cent for each graduate receiving an associate or baccalaureate degree and shall be one-half of one per cent for each graduate receiving a masters or doctoral degree.” (Hawaii State Legislature Archives, SB 983, Introduced 1/17/97)

When Asked About College Affordability At The Final Televised Debate, Senator Ige Boasted Of His Work To Keep Tuition At Its Elevated Rates, But Offered No Solutions. "You know, this has been a question that the Legislature has taken up in the last 12 months, and it really has been – as Chair of Ways and Means committee I did have a hearing and have the university appear before us because it is something that is a concern all across the state about the rising tuition. And we did ask them and the regents did vote to have a moratorium on the tuition increases. And our point was, what is the reason for you raising tuition? The regents had told us that it was simply a case of we wanted the tuition to be in the median of peer institutions across the state, and we told them that that’s not acceptable. It really ought to be about what you’re funding, why you need to raise tuition, why is it that you believe and how would you invest those dollars. I would have to say university regents and executives have heard the Legislature loud and clear, and they are putting a moratorium on tuition increases and we’ll see on a going forward basis what’s the appropriate tuition level." (Senator David Ige, Hawaii News Now Debate, 10/15/14)

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