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Sunday, July 9, 2023
The Budget Is Signed
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1797 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Tax Credits, Taxes, Cost of Living

... At the ceremony, the Governor made clear that tax relief, especially for ALICE (asset-limited, income-constrained, employed) families, is still on the table.  There will be a Phase 2, he said, apparently targeting the 2024 legislative session ....

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Sunday, July 2, 2023
Cronyism: The 2023 Intent to Veto List
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1584 Views :: Taxes

... cronyism, revenge and retribution -- someone's been sandbagging ....

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Sunday, June 25, 2023
Economic Misfortune Can Fix Our “Shadow Budget”
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:01 AM :: 2070 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

... Sometimes it takes a bad situation to make another bad situation better.  This might be one of those times ....

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Sunday, June 18, 2023
A Dirty Problem
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2462 Views :: Environment, Development, Tax Credits

... five blind monks trying to describe an elephant ....

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Sunday, June 11, 2023
Fevella’s Film Feud
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2432 Views :: Ethics, Labor

... Apparently Fevella filed a personnel complaint against the head of the Hawaii Film Office, Donne Dawson, to emphasize this point ....

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Sunday, June 4, 2023
Hawaii’s Shadow Budget
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2171 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, Hawaii State Government

“...ready, fire, aim....”

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Sunday, May 28, 2023
GET on Health Care
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2305 Views :: Health Care, Military, Taxes, Cost of Living

... One of the bills in this past legislative session that fell to the cutting room floor when it probably shouldn’t have was Senate Bill 1035, which would have exempted medical services provided by health care providers if the services were paid for by Medicaid, Medicare, or TRICARE ....

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Sunday, May 21, 2023
Another Rainy Day Slush Fund
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1983 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

... The HHRF shut down in 2002.  It's fund still has $186.7M today ....

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Sunday, May 14, 2023
Ding Dong, the Green Fee is Dead
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2248 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

... The bill containing the fee proposal, Senate Bill 304, did not survive the conference committee process. ...

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Sunday, May 7, 2023
Tax Relief, RIP
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2174 Views :: Tax Credits

... every one of the tax credit enhancements has been given only a five-year life.  All of them go away on January 1, 2028 ....

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Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Some Winners and Losers in the 2023 Session
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 PM :: 2264 Views :: Tax Credits, Taxes

... The Tax Relief Shell Game Ends, and Broad-Based Relief Didn’t Make It ....

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Sunday, April 30, 2023
Production Credit Hijinx
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2330 Views :: Ethics, Tax Credits

... After deferring the measure multiple times, WAM amended the bill to add two new provisions:  a section allowing tax credits for building a film studio, and a section making extensive amendments to the administration of the existing production credit.  This was done without the benefit of a public hearing ....

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Sunday, April 23, 2023
TANF Hoarding, Continued
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2227 Views :: Hawaii State Government

... Hawaii was called out by the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica in 2022 for letting TANF money gather dust in some dark corner instead of putting it to use helping families and children ....

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Sunday, April 16, 2023
It Isn’t Over Until It’s Over
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2598 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, Tax Credits

... In the meantime, lawmakers have been figuring out how to bypass conventional learning about when a bill is dead. Here is one example ....

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Monday, April 10, 2023
Tax Hikes: Where Hawai'i Fits in National Trends
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:42 PM :: 2170 Views :: Taxes

... Wealth tax, proposed simultaneously in seven states including Hawaii ....

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Sunday, April 9, 2023
Hope for Tax Relief Still Alive
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1964 Views :: Taxes

... only one Senate committee, Ways & Means, will be entrusted with the fate of all three bills ....

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Sunday, April 2, 2023
Legislative Madness
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1995 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

... “It’s just four months of chaos" ....

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Monday, March 27, 2023
Council on State Taxation: Looking Out for Business
By Tom Yamachika @ 12:01 AM :: 1868 Views :: Small Business, Taxes

... the Committee on State Taxation focuses on the impact of state taxes on businesses across the country ....

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Sunday, March 26, 2023
Credit Madness
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1799 Views :: Tax Credits

... Tax Credits were proposed for, among other things, upgrading technology infrastructure; sequestering carbon; upgrading or conversion of cesspools; being a health care preceptor; manufacturing food; providing childcare to employees; being in a creative district; producing organic food; and just being in the state while everyone else is being hammered by a carbon tax ....

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Sunday, March 19, 2023
Picking Apart the Case for Conveyance Tax Hikes
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1813 Views :: Taxes

... Senate Bill 362 proposes to double the tax on residential property, selling for at least $2 million ....

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Sunday, March 12, 2023
California’s Surplus to Deficit
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1926 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

... the revenue that did materialize was spent in a flash ....

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Sunday, March 5, 2023
Love-Hate Relationship with Tourism 
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2127 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

... We have been taxing the bejeebers out of tourists ....

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Sunday, February 26, 2023
Creative Districts 
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1908 Views :: Tax Credits

... In the Senate bill, creative enterprises in a creative district would be eligible for tax credits.  The bill, however, is a little light on details ....

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Sunday, February 19, 2023
PILOT for Real Property Tax
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2894 Views :: Honolulu County, Energy, Agriculture, Tax Credits, Taxes

... The owner in the previous year paid $30,154 in property tax and got a bill for $835,710, resulting in an extremely unhappy owner ....

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Sunday, February 12, 2023
Get Out, Evil!  Stay In, Good Fortune!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1549 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

... Japanese celebrate a festival known as Setsubun.  While there are regional variations on how to celebrate it, many of them involve roasted beans and an Oni, or demon ....

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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Did You Meet Your Goals This Year? – Pff, We Don’t Care
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1365 Views :: Hawaii State Government

... Our Legislature’s 2023 session is definitely cranked up now ....

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Sunday, January 29, 2023
What’s In the Governor’s Bill Package
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1494 Views :: Taxes

... SB 1347 / HB 1049, designated GOV-01, aims to give broad tax relief to pretty much everyone in Hawaii. It does this by juicing up several credits already on the books, giving a significant boost to the standard deduction, and doubling the personal exemption amount. ...

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Sunday, January 22, 2023
Should We Lower Taxes?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1437 Views :: Taxes

... convince me that tax cuts are not advisable ....

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Sunday, January 15, 2023
More Temporary Tax Fixes Considered
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1397 Views :: Taxes

... We need fixes.  Not the temporary kind ....

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Sunday, January 8, 2023
Tax Word Find
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1368 Views :: Taxes

... the New Year is off and running and we are quaking in our boots waiting for our Legislature to reconvene, here are some of the ideas that we have been following ....

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Sunday, January 1, 2023
Lives Matter
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1756 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics

... the important thing isn’t money for the sake of money, but whether it’s being used wisely to make our lives better ....

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Sunday, December 25, 2022
Earning a Procurement Exemption
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1836 Views :: Ethics, Tourism

“...You’re going to have to earn something like that....”

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Sunday, December 18, 2022
What It Takes to Spend $600M on Housing in Three Years
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1935 Views :: DHHL, Development

... Otherwise, the money goes back to the general fund ....

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Sunday, December 11, 2022
New Administration’s Tax Priorities
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2230 Views :: Taxes

... Green's top priorities for his first 100 days in office ....

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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Ridicule, Violent Opposition, Acceptance: OHA and DLNR
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:33 PM :: 2573 Views :: Ethics, OHA

... Truth Goes Through Three Stages ....

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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Want to Fight Corruption?  Follow the Money
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2858 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, OHA

... We, as taxpayers who are supplying the money, have the right to see where it goes. In real time, not several years later as seen in one nonprofit’s recent fight with the Department of Education ....

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Sunday, November 27, 2022
No, Boosting the Affordable Housing Fund Isn’t the Answer
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1946 Views :: Honolulu County, Development, Taxes

"... it is essentially a budgeting gimmick ...."

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Sunday, November 20, 2022
Cleaning House at OHA
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 3151 Views :: Ethics, OHA

... One thing we all need to remember is how we got to this point ....

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Sunday, November 13, 2022
Getting Permitting Out of Home Maintenance
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2205 Views :: Honolulu County, Development, Small Business

... a typical residential building permit application took 108 days to process, while one for a commercial project took 432 days ....

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Sunday, November 6, 2022
The Empty Homes Tax
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2322 Views :: Development, Taxes, Tourism

... The idea seems to be gaining steam now since our federal court has struck down Honolulu’s recent ordinance clamping down on transient vacation rentals ....

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Sunday, October 30, 2022
“Dedicated Funding Source”?  Nah
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1679 Views :: Hawaii State Government

... the “dedication” of the funding source is often porous ....

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Sunday, October 23, 2022
Yes, People Move Because of Taxes
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 2025 Views :: Taxes

... we gained a few high-income individuals but lost more of those folks scraping to make ends meet ....

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Sunday, October 16, 2022
State Financial Condition Still Dismal
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1813 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics

... $37,000 of shortfall per taxpayer ....

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Sunday, October 9, 2022
Love-Hate Relationship with P3
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1932 Views :: Ethics, Development, Hawaii State Government

... The most recent and visible example is our iconic Aloha Stadium .... 

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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Three Years to Spend $600 Million
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1847 Views :: DHHL, Development

... On June 30, 2025, any of this money not contractually committed will drop back into our state general fund ....

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Sunday, September 25, 2022
Road Usage Charge Versus Carbon Tax
By Tom Yamachika @ 8:16 PM :: 1821 Views :: Environment, Taxes

... Hawaii Department of Transportation has been studying implementation of a Road Usage Charge ....

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Sunday, September 25, 2022
Our Kids Are Going Away
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1941 Views :: Education K-12, Hawaii Statistics, Cost of Living

... Not considering charter schools, enrollment dropped from 168,152 in 2018-19 to 156,518 in 2022-23, and it is projected to decrease further to 148,096 by 2027-28 ....

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Sunday, September 18, 2022
​Rolling With a Road Usage Charge
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1872 Views :: Taxes

... support grew when rental cars are charged a higher rate than residents ....

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Sunday, September 11, 2022
Blame for the Housing Crisis
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 1611 Views :: Honolulu County, Development

... the average time to process a residential building permit application was 108 days, while a commercial project took 432 days ....

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Sunday, September 4, 2022
No. 1 In the World – In Tourist Taxes
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:00 AM :: 3699 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Taxes, Tourism

... Honolulu is 75% higher in taxes than the second most tourist-taxed city in the world ....

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