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When Is an Interstate Agreement Not an Agreement?

For a very long time, states have been wrestling with the problem of how much to tax entities operating in more than one state. States generally are not willing to simply let the taxpayer decide how much to report in each jurisdiction in which it does business (which happens to

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Squirreling Away More Funds for the Zoo

In March, the Honolulu Zoo was denied re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for the first time in its 100-year history. Many of the media reports at the time said that one of AZA’s principal squawks was the lack of a dedicated source of funding. As a

Read More →

DHHL: Can’t Spend $60M, Asks for $500M

About a year ago, we wrote about the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), an agency of our state government that administers over 200,000 acres of public lands to be leased to Native Hawaiians – those with at least 50% Hawaiian blood – for purposes of living, farming, ranching, and

Read More →

Fuel for Thought

Our Department of Transportation (HIDOT) was recently in the news because it won a $4 million federal grant to come up with a “reimagining” of the taxes we currently pay to support our highways and bridges. (Although we still had to come up with $1.5 million in matching funds.) What

Read More →

Boards of Review: Facing Extinction

In Hawaii, we have a beast called a Taxation Board of Review that is quickly following the dodo bird down the path to extinction. This is why we should be concerned. None of us relish a tax audit, knowing that the person across the table from you represents a government

Read More →

Mythbusting HART, Part 2

Last week we took a look at the HART website where it took issue with our estimate that the surcharge was costing us all an average of $200 per person annually. Today we take a look at another vexing question: With all this money coming in to fund the train,

Read More →

Mythbusting HART, Part 1

With all of the recent discussion about HART and the Honolulu rail project, there have been quite a few assertions that people have been playing fast and loose with facts.  Some of the statements made by the Foundation have been part of this discussion, so we will examine some of

Read More →

The Little Engine that Could?

When we think about everything that is happening with government and public finance, it’s daunting to add up the numbers that are being bandied about – a hundred million to cool the schools, billions in unfunded liabilities for our state retirement plans, and the untold billions required to run our

Read More →

Public Charter Schools

Many of us have heard about “charter schools” here in Hawaii.  Charter schools present an alternative to regular public schools under the state Department of Education (DOE), in that they have the freedom to teach students using their own systems and processes, rather than the ones developed by the DOE. 

Read More →

How Taxes Work

This is a thought-provoking piece that appeared on the Internet some years ago.  There are variations of this story floating around, and the investigative website snopes.com concluded that the actual author is still unknown. Every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.

Read More →

When Is an Interstate Agreement Not an Agreement?

For a very long time, states have been wrestling with the problem of how much to tax entities operating in more than one state. States generally are not willing to simply let the taxpayer decide how much to report in each jurisdiction in which it does business (which happens to

Read More →

Squirreling Away More Funds for the Zoo

In March, the Honolulu Zoo was denied re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for the first time in its 100-year history. Many of the media reports at the time said that one of AZA’s principal squawks was the lack of a dedicated source of funding. As a

Read More →

DHHL: Can’t Spend $60M, Asks for $500M

About a year ago, we wrote about the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), an agency of our state government that administers over 200,000 acres of public lands to be leased to Native Hawaiians – those with at least 50% Hawaiian blood – for purposes of living, farming, ranching, and

Read More →

Fuel for Thought

Our Department of Transportation (HIDOT) was recently in the news because it won a $4 million federal grant to come up with a “reimagining” of the taxes we currently pay to support our highways and bridges. (Although we still had to come up with $1.5 million in matching funds.) What

Read More →

Boards of Review: Facing Extinction

In Hawaii, we have a beast called a Taxation Board of Review that is quickly following the dodo bird down the path to extinction. This is why we should be concerned. None of us relish a tax audit, knowing that the person across the table from you represents a government

Read More →

Mythbusting HART, Part 2

Last week we took a look at the HART website where it took issue with our estimate that the surcharge was costing us all an average of $200 per person annually. Today we take a look at another vexing question: With all this money coming in to fund the train,

Read More →

Mythbusting HART, Part 1

With all of the recent discussion about HART and the Honolulu rail project, there have been quite a few assertions that people have been playing fast and loose with facts.  Some of the statements made by the Foundation have been part of this discussion, so we will examine some of

Read More →

The Little Engine that Could?

When we think about everything that is happening with government and public finance, it’s daunting to add up the numbers that are being bandied about – a hundred million to cool the schools, billions in unfunded liabilities for our state retirement plans, and the untold billions required to run our

Read More →

Public Charter Schools

Many of us have heard about “charter schools” here in Hawaii.  Charter schools present an alternative to regular public schools under the state Department of Education (DOE), in that they have the freedom to teach students using their own systems and processes, rather than the ones developed by the DOE. 

Read More →

How Taxes Work

This is a thought-provoking piece that appeared on the Internet some years ago.  There are variations of this story floating around, and the investigative website snopes.com concluded that the actual author is still unknown. Every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.

Read More →