Hawaii governor still has long list of bills to sign
by Carolyn Grindrod, The Center Square, May 30, 2023
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green has yet to sign a long list of bills passed by the Hawaii State Legislature earlier this month, including a bill that would give residents tax relief and the state's budget.
House Bill 954 would increase the personal exemption from $1,444 to $2,288 beginning with the 2023 tax year and increase the standard deduction. Also included in the bill is a cost-of-living adjustment factor to index the standard deduction, personal exemption and other tax thresholds.
Also sitting on Green's desk is the fiscal year 2024 budget that begins July 1.
The $21.7 billion biennial budget exceeded the state's spending cap by more than $1 billion, according to The Grassroots Institute Of Hawaii.
The Legislature included $280 million for a rental housing revolving fund to aid in the state's affordable housing crisis in the budget. Another $150 million is allocated to the Hawaii Community Development Authority to improve housing developments.
The governor has until June 26 to tell lawmakers which bills he will sign and which he will veto.
Not every request made it through the legislature. Green's request to exempt groceries and over-the-counter drugs from the state's excise tax didn't make it past the first two months of the session.
In a state where shows like "Hawaii NCIS" and "Magnum P.I." are still on weekly, lawmakers declined to extend film tax credits to the industry.
SB1237 would have extended the tax benefits for movie makers and tv show creators through 2038. The tax credits are currently in play through Dec. 31, 2032.
Rates for tax credits for qualified film production costs were increased by 2%. The current benefits for filmmakers who spend at least $100,000 in-state offer up to a 22% credit for productions on Oahu and 27% on the neighboring islands of Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai after the first of this year.