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Friday, March 11, 2016
Maui Council Rejects 300% Agriculture Tax Hike
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:00 PM :: 6966 Views :: Maui County, Agriculture, Taxes

Grassroot Institute Applauds Maui Council for Defeating Farm Tax Bill

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, HAWAII--March 11, 2016--Having issued serious reservations about the future of the agriculture industry in testimony to the Maui County Council, Grassroot Institute applauded the Council for defeating BF-70, a proposal that would have dramatically increased taxes on large agricultural lands.

Grassroot's comments on BF-70, cited the loss of crops and pastureland in the state, warning that the substantial tax hike and regulatory intrusions in the proposal would ultimately drive more farms and ranches out of existence. A large crowd of Maui's farmers and ranchers appeared at the hearing Thursday evening, echoing these concerns and urging the Council to abandon the unfair scheme. Ultimately, the measure was defeated, ensuring that Maui agriculture will live on.

"This is a great victory for the state's agriculture industry," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. "High taxation and regulation have been a significant burden in all sectors of the economy, and the continuing loss of agricultural lands is worrisome to those of us who want to see our state thrive. Along with the farmers and ranchers of Maui, the Grassroot Institute is glad to see that the Maui County Council heard these concerns and rejected this unfair tax hike."

Grassroot Institute's testimony can be viewed at: LINK 

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Grassroot Institute Takes Aim at Maui Agriculture Tax Hike

Watchdog group urges County Council to reject unfair scheme 

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, HAWAII--March 10, 2016--Today, the Grassroot Institute asked the Maui County Council to reject a proposed ordinance that would drastically raise taxes on large agricultural lands and subject them to unfair regulation.

In comments on BF-70, the watchdog group pointed out that the bill, which purports to ensure fairness in real property taxation, could increase the effective tax on large agricultural lands on Maui by more than 300%. Combined with a regulatory scheme that allows the county to intrude on property rights by requiring approval of the "economic feasibility" of a farmer's planned use for his or her land, the ultimate effect will be to further diminish the state's agriculture industry.

"At a time when it is critical to revive and expand Hawaii's agricultural economy, Maui is considering an ordinance that would decimate the island's farms and ranches," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. "Hawaii has lost 540,000 acres of crop and pastureland since 1980, and tax and regulatory schemes like the one envisioned here will continue to drive businesses out of existence."

Dr. Akina continued: "The justification offered for this proposal is that it corrects an unfair tax system. However, there are less destructive ways of addressing the problem--like lowering taxes on those who are unfairly burdened. If this ordinance is passed, many farmers and ranchers on Maui will have little choice but to sell their fallow fields to real estate developers."

Grassroot Institute's testimony can be viewed at: LINK


About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us at:

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About Grassroot President:

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina was a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.


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