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Transient Oriented Schools: Impacting Housing Costs

Forced exactions to fund our government don’t always come from taxing agencies, as we find out this week. Under a 2007 law, our Department of Education (DOE) has the authority to require developers to pay an “impact fee” in high growth areas of the state.  The theory is that high

Read More →

Low Real Property Tax Is a Bad Thing?

One of the more interesting bills still alive and being considered this session, is one that would commission a study on the effects of Hawaii’s low real property taxes. Excuse me?  Low taxes are a concern? The bill, HB 1735, attempts to explain why in its preamble section: “The legislature

Read More →

Regressivity

In the course of our legislative session, our tax system has been roundly criticized for being unfair to those on the lower end of the income spectrum. In particular, a 2015 study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) asserts that the lowest 20% of our population pays

Read More →

General Excise Tax at 6%?

Our Legislature is in full swing now and is actively considering a number of bills that will increase our cost of living in Hawaii. One bill tacks on 0.5% to our general excise tax to fund a long-term care program that would give qualifying seniors a benefit of $70 a

Read More →

GEMS to Cool Classrooms

One passage in Governor Ige’s 2016 State of the State address dealt with the problem of sweltering and unbearable conditions in our public school classrooms.  Last year the media often brought this to our attention during the long hot summer.  The Governor proposed to deal with the problem in what

Read More →

Tax Is for the Birds

Every so often, we run into a story that reminds us that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously all the time. Here’s one that reminds us that even at the tax office customer service is important. Otherwise some very interesting things can happen. The Register-Guard in Oregon reports a recent

Read More →

Buy America! For an Extra $3M this Time

Rail was in the news again. The low bidder for the Kamehameha Highway Stations Group appeared to be Watts Constructors, which bid $112.7 million for the project.  The job went to Nan Inc., which bid $115.8 million. Why did that happen? The disqualification of Watts’ bid has to do with

Read More →

Delays Upon Delays at DHHL

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) administers about 200,000 acres of public lands to be leased to native Hawaiians, upon which they may live, farm, ranch, and engage in commercial or other activities. The department, led by a nine-member commission, must provide financial and technical assistance to native Hawaiians

Read More →

GEMS: Gets Everyone’s Money Swiftly

This week we will be talking about GEMS, which stands for Green Energy Market Securitization. It’s a program that was adopted by our state government in Act 211 of 2013. The idea behind GEMS is that the state wanted to facilitate the buildout of “clean energy infrastructure,” which was seen

Read More →

An Early Christmas Present from IRS to Heald Students

On April 27 of this year, Heald College, a 150-year-old institution with a campus in Hawaii, abruptly shut down.  The Hawaii campus was one of 28 campuses owned by Corinthian Colleges; all of them shut down on the same day, displacing about 16,000 students, about 1,000 of which were in

Read More →

Transient Oriented Schools: Impacting Housing Costs

Forced exactions to fund our government don’t always come from taxing agencies, as we find out this week. Under a 2007 law, our Department of Education (DOE) has the authority to require developers to pay an “impact fee” in high growth areas of the state.  The theory is that high

Read More →

Low Real Property Tax Is a Bad Thing?

One of the more interesting bills still alive and being considered this session, is one that would commission a study on the effects of Hawaii’s low real property taxes. Excuse me?  Low taxes are a concern? The bill, HB 1735, attempts to explain why in its preamble section: “The legislature

Read More →

Regressivity

In the course of our legislative session, our tax system has been roundly criticized for being unfair to those on the lower end of the income spectrum. In particular, a 2015 study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) asserts that the lowest 20% of our population pays

Read More →

General Excise Tax at 6%?

Our Legislature is in full swing now and is actively considering a number of bills that will increase our cost of living in Hawaii. One bill tacks on 0.5% to our general excise tax to fund a long-term care program that would give qualifying seniors a benefit of $70 a

Read More →

GEMS to Cool Classrooms

One passage in Governor Ige’s 2016 State of the State address dealt with the problem of sweltering and unbearable conditions in our public school classrooms.  Last year the media often brought this to our attention during the long hot summer.  The Governor proposed to deal with the problem in what

Read More →

Tax Is for the Birds

Every so often, we run into a story that reminds us that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously all the time. Here’s one that reminds us that even at the tax office customer service is important. Otherwise some very interesting things can happen. The Register-Guard in Oregon reports a recent

Read More →

Buy America! For an Extra $3M this Time

Rail was in the news again. The low bidder for the Kamehameha Highway Stations Group appeared to be Watts Constructors, which bid $112.7 million for the project.  The job went to Nan Inc., which bid $115.8 million. Why did that happen? The disqualification of Watts’ bid has to do with

Read More →

Delays Upon Delays at DHHL

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) administers about 200,000 acres of public lands to be leased to native Hawaiians, upon which they may live, farm, ranch, and engage in commercial or other activities. The department, led by a nine-member commission, must provide financial and technical assistance to native Hawaiians

Read More →

GEMS: Gets Everyone’s Money Swiftly

This week we will be talking about GEMS, which stands for Green Energy Market Securitization. It’s a program that was adopted by our state government in Act 211 of 2013. The idea behind GEMS is that the state wanted to facilitate the buildout of “clean energy infrastructure,” which was seen

Read More →

An Early Christmas Present from IRS to Heald Students

On April 27 of this year, Heald College, a 150-year-old institution with a campus in Hawaii, abruptly shut down.  The Hawaii campus was one of 28 campuses owned by Corinthian Colleges; all of them shut down on the same day, displacing about 16,000 students, about 1,000 of which were in

Read More →