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Friday, February 12, 2021
Bills on the Move: Conveyance Tax, Pension Suspension, Un-Affordable Housing
By Grassroot Institute @ 3:28 AM :: 3662 Views :: Maui County, Development, Taxes, COVID-19

Bills on the Move: Conveyance Tax, Pension Suspension, Un-Affordable Housing

From Grassroot Institute, Feb 11, 2021

Bad Bills: Any bill having to do with increasing Hawaii's tax burden at a time when its economy is in its worst depression ever — whether new taxes, higher tax rates, surcharges on existing taxes or elimination or suspension of tax credits or exemptions. 

So far we have weighed in on SB871, which would increase the conveyance tax rate on condominiums and single-family residences for which the purchaser is ineligible for a county homeowner’s exemption on property tax; SB155, which would establish a peer-to-peer car-sharing surcharge tax; HB771, which would establish a three-year surcharge on the state’s existing liquor tax.

We also warned against adopting SB1087, which would suspend the requirement for public employers to make annual required contributions to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund through fiscal year 2024-2025.

"We are concerned that this measure would put Hawaii taxpayers on the hook for an additional nearly $8 billion," said Kent, as well as "destabilize the health benefits plan of 68,000 active government employees and their 60,000 dependents and 47,000 retirees and their 20,000 dependents."



Meanwhile, on Maui:

The institute submitted testimony yesterday to the Maui County Council’s Affordable Housing Committee, which is considering a proposal that would increase the country's inclusionary zoning requirement from 50% to 75% for certain so-called affordable housing projects, unless a lower percentage greater than 50% is approved by the Maui County Council.

Joe Kent, institute executive vice president, pointed out that, "A large body of research shows that inclusionary zoning makes housing less affordable, since developers respond to such mandates by building fewer homes. To make matters worse, the mandates force developers to raise the prices of market-rate homes to make up for the so-called affordable homes." 

In the alternative, we urged Maui officials to consider regulatory reform that would allow for more housing of all kinds to be built, as outlined in the report “How to Build Affordable, Thriving Neighborhoods,” produced by the State Policy Network and distributed recently to all our state and county elected officials by the institute.



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