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Thursday, March 28, 2013
House GOP: "Senate bills would increase taxes and fees"
By News Release @ 11:17 PM :: 7141 Views :: Republican Party, Taxes

News Release from Hawaii House Republican Caucus, March 28, 2013

Senate bills would increase taxes and fees

After many House bills to raise taxes and fees failed in the House, more Senate bills that would do so are still alive. Some of these measures would:

  • Amend the fee charged to sellers of portable electronics insurance. The current bill draft does not specify the amount the fee would be increased to, but a House version increased it dramatically, from $150 to $5,000 per year (SB 345 SD1);
  • Impose an excise tax of $3.20 per ounce on tobacco products (SB 492 HD1);
  • Require the assessment of impact fees prior to issuance of a water meter (SB 987 SD1);
  • Establish a glass container fee of six cents or 12 cents for containers that hold less or more than 12 ounces, respectively (SB 1131 HD2);
  • Remove the exemption for dietary supplement beverage containers from the Deposit Beverage Container Program, effectively raising a fee for certain products (SB 1133 HD2); and
  • Increase the conveyance tax on certain real estate transactions and allocate a larger portion of the tax to the natural area reserve fund and rental housing trust fund (SB 1166 HD1).

State budget update

The Senate Ways and Means Committee has considered and made amendments to the state budget, House Bill 200 HD1 SD1.
The Senate draft restores funding that the House had denied for several initiatives, including the governor's requests to fund early childhood education, information technology upgrades and the Hawaii Growth Initiative, a cash incentive for entrepreneurs. The Senate also did not maintain the cuts to vacant department positions that were made by the House.

The House and Senate will confer in April and vote on the final draft.
HB 200 HD1 SD1 appropriates general fund spending for the current biennium fiscal years FY 2013-2014 and FY 2014-2015.


Notable bills heard this week

More information about the below measures can be found at the corresponding links.
Thursday, March 28
  • SB 693 SD2 HD1 establishes a pilot photo red light imaging detector system program to improve enforcement of traffic signal laws. The cameras would function in five locations in the state; two in Ewa Beach, one near Ala Moana Shopping Center, one in Lahaina, and one on Beretania Street at Piikoi. The pilot program would expire on July 1, 2016. See more details here.
  • SB 69 SD2 HD1 requires county police departments under certain conditions to fingerprint, photograph, and perform background checks on individuals who wish to register a firearm that was purchased out-of-state. See more details here.

Bill updates

Public Private Partnership Authority
  • SB 215 SD3 HD1 establishes the public-private partnership authority (PPPA). While some argue that the PPPA would spur jobs and economic development, critics argue that the proposal is too similar to the controversial Public Land Development Corporation. See more details here.
Labeling genetically modified foods
  • After much public pressure to hear the bill, the Senate Agriculture Committee deferred HB 174 HD2 which would have required labeling of imported genetically modified fruits and vegetables.

In Our Communities

Rep. Gene Ward (District 17 – Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)
Video: Hawaii Kai residents discuss development at heated meeting
KITV, March 21

Rep. Ward hosted a March 21 town hall meeting with other area legislators and guests Kamehameha Schools, Foodland and the Hawaii Department of Transportation to let the community learn about and give feedback on a proposed development on what is now Hawaii Kai's Great Lawn. 

In The News

House proposes broad-based income tax relief
Tax relief on table for House: Speaker Joe Souki wants to reduce the share of income taken from earners
Star-Advertiser, March 25
The state budget
Our View: House rightly exercising fiscal restraint
Star-Advertiser, March 24
Rep. Gene Ward (District 17 – Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)
Modify Jones Act to assist Hawaii
Star-Advertiser, March 28
Bipartisan group seeks limited exemption from Jones Act
Star-Advertiser, March 23
Rep. Cynthia Thielen (District 50  Kailua, Kaneohe Bay)
Hemp Truths: The U.S. Constitution was written on this fiber, yet it’s illegal to grow it here
Honolulu Weekly, March 20
If you have any questions or concerns about measures in the House or Senate, please don't hesitate to contact the House Republican Caucus. We look forward to continuing to work with you to make Hawaii an even better place to live.

Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson
Minority Leader
T: (808) 586-9470

Rep. Beth Fukumoto
Minority Floor Leader
T: (808) 586-9460

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