Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, March 30, 2019
‘Backward budgeting’ wrong way to move forward
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 5:18 PM :: 4825 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

‘Backward budgeting’ wrong way to move forward

From Grassroot Institute, March 29, 2019

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a myriad of new tax increases in order to pay for their spending plans, but instead they should clamp down on their spending so tax hikes aren’t needed.

The Legislature on Wednesday sent a record high $16 billion budget plan to Gov. David Ige for early approval, despite being caught off guard earlier in the month by gloomy economic forecasts that could result in the state taking in $82 million less in taxes in fiscal 2019 than had originally been expected.

Now lawmakers are scrambling to cover the likely shortfall, and have even outlined their ideas on how to raise more money on a whiteboard at the Capitol. Among the proposals are:


  • Tax real estate investment trusts, which could bring in $2 million.

  • Increase the transient accommodations tax, for $9 million.

  • Increase the estate tax, for $5 million.

  • Tax internet businesses, for $4 million.

  • Tax short-term rentals, for $46 million.

The root cause of this topsy-turvy financial situation stems from the Legislature’s backward budgeting. Too many of our lawmakers are focused on how much they want to spend, instead of how much they have to spend.

Raising taxes should not be used as a solution for poor budgetary planning. Among other problems with this approach is it would increase Hawaii’s high cost of living and scare away more locals already considering leaving the state, further depressing state tax revenues.

A better alternative would be to cap spending below existing estimated revenues, to eliminate any thought that there should be a last-minute blitz of tax and fee hikes. Our lawmakers should focus on living within our means, and perhaps even provide some budgetary room for taxes to be lowered.

Lowering spending and taxation would leave more money in taxpayers’ pockets — and help reduce the cost of living. It could even send a signal to entrepreneurs, both in the islands and elsewhere, that Hawaii is a good place for business, which would lead to more investment, more jobs, more spending — and perhaps even more tax revenues.

E hana kakou! (Let’s work together!)

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.




TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii


Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii


Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii