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Akina shares five ways we could reduce Hawaii’s high cost of living

Grassroot President Keli‘i Akina addressed the January meeting of the Hawaii Tourism Wholesalers Association. Pictured from left, HTWA guests Chris Freeland, Grant Yoshikami and Lou Chun, Akina, and HTWA members Rex Chang, David Livingston and Tom Matthews.

The Grassroot president focused on taxes, housing, medical workers, the permitting system and the federal Jones Act

Cut taxes, reduce housing regulations, allow more medical workers to work in Hawaii, reform the various state and county permitting departments and reform the federal Jones Act, which limits shipping competition to the islands.

Those are five ways Hawaii lawmakers could significantly lower Hawaii’s high cost of living, Grassroot President Keli‘i Akina told members of the Hawaii Tourism Wholesalers Association during a presentation earlier this month at Murphy’s Bar & Grill.

Akina noted Hawaii’s cost of living has increased by at least 18% since 2019. He said the state’s high cost of living is a major reason Hawaii’s population has been declining for the past seven years — which has left fewer people to pay the state’s ever-increasing taxes, and fewer people to staff local businesses and even government agencies.

He said implementing the five proposals he outlined would bring down prices and help make Hawaii a place where we could all thrive and prosper.

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