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Budget & Spending

Questions persist about viability of Honolulu rail

Photo by Charley Myers At this point, the one thing we can rely on concerning the Honolulu rail project is the long list of unanswered questions. Among them: >> How much will it really cost? >> How will we pay for its future operations and maintenance? >> Will it ever

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Hawaii taxpayers deserve a rebate — a big one

Imagine your brother was facing a bad financial situation.  Things looked bleak for a while, and the family came together to help him out. Eventually, he got through it, thanks in part to generosity from his siblings. Now, not only is he out of trouble, but he has money to

Read More →

Testimony: Hawaii taxpayers deserve big portion of budget surplus

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration March 31, 2022, by the House Committee on Finance. _______________ To: House Committee on Finance       Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chair       Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii  

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Governor’s tax-refund proposal ‘on the right track,’ institute says

The following media release was issued Jan. 24, 2022, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. ___________ HONOLULU, Jan. 24, 2022 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for his proposal to send out refund checks to Hawaii taxpayers. The governor’s announcement came during his State of the

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State budget windfall should be shared with taxpayers

The following commentary was published originally on Jan. 8, 2022, in Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. _______________ Hawaii lawmakers are wracking their brains about how to balance the state budget, only this time, the problem isn’t too little money, it’s too much. And maybe some of it should go back to Hawaii

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Hawaii budget needs lifestyle change in 2022

Happy new year from the board and staff of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. The first day of a new year is traditionally a time for resolutions and self-improvement. So, in that spirit of personal growth, it’s time we engage in some brutal candor about a problem in our state

Read More →

State budget windfall opens way for tax cuts

The following is a news released issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on Dec. 23, 2021. ____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii calculations show there is plenty of room for the Legislature to break its habit of continually increasing taxes HONOLULU, Dec. 23, 2021 >> Gov. David Ige’s fiscal 2023 general fund

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‘Tourist tax’ surcharges threaten Hawaii recovery

Photo by Charley Myers The following article was published originally in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on Dec. 18, 2021. ______________ In their zeal to “save” the state budget, Hawaii’s lawmakers created new monsters — the county TAT surcharges — which threaten to drag down Hawaii’s economy Are more taxes on

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Survey shows concern about government spending and debt

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on Nov. 10, 2021. ______________ The poll of nearly 1,000 Hawaii residents also found significant agreement that private firms should be more involved in delivering public services HONOLULU, Nov. 10, 2021 >> High levels of state and county government spending and debt are

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There’s nothing so permanent as a temporary government measure

Over the past year, I have often expressed concern about the possibility that “temporary” measures taken in response to the COVID-19 emergency would become permanent. That’s a serious problem when it comes to civil liberties. But we also need to consider the ramifications for the state’s fiscal decision-making. Just like the

Read More →

Questions persist about viability of Honolulu rail

Photo by Charley Myers At this point, the one thing we can rely on concerning the Honolulu rail project is the long list of unanswered questions. Among them: >> How much will it really cost? >> How will we pay for its future operations and maintenance? >> Will it ever

Read More →

Hawaii taxpayers deserve a rebate — a big one

Imagine your brother was facing a bad financial situation.  Things looked bleak for a while, and the family came together to help him out. Eventually, he got through it, thanks in part to generosity from his siblings. Now, not only is he out of trouble, but he has money to

Read More →

Testimony: Hawaii taxpayers deserve big portion of budget surplus

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration March 31, 2022, by the House Committee on Finance. _______________ To: House Committee on Finance       Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chair       Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii  

Read More →

Governor’s tax-refund proposal ‘on the right track,’ institute says

The following media release was issued Jan. 24, 2022, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. ___________ HONOLULU, Jan. 24, 2022 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for his proposal to send out refund checks to Hawaii taxpayers. The governor’s announcement came during his State of the

Read More →

State budget windfall should be shared with taxpayers

The following commentary was published originally on Jan. 8, 2022, in Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. _______________ Hawaii lawmakers are wracking their brains about how to balance the state budget, only this time, the problem isn’t too little money, it’s too much. And maybe some of it should go back to Hawaii

Read More →

Hawaii budget needs lifestyle change in 2022

Happy new year from the board and staff of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. The first day of a new year is traditionally a time for resolutions and self-improvement. So, in that spirit of personal growth, it’s time we engage in some brutal candor about a problem in our state

Read More →

State budget windfall opens way for tax cuts

The following is a news released issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on Dec. 23, 2021. ____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii calculations show there is plenty of room for the Legislature to break its habit of continually increasing taxes HONOLULU, Dec. 23, 2021 >> Gov. David Ige’s fiscal 2023 general fund

Read More →

‘Tourist tax’ surcharges threaten Hawaii recovery

Photo by Charley Myers The following article was published originally in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on Dec. 18, 2021. ______________ In their zeal to “save” the state budget, Hawaii’s lawmakers created new monsters — the county TAT surcharges — which threaten to drag down Hawaii’s economy Are more taxes on

Read More →

Survey shows concern about government spending and debt

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on Nov. 10, 2021. ______________ The poll of nearly 1,000 Hawaii residents also found significant agreement that private firms should be more involved in delivering public services HONOLULU, Nov. 10, 2021 >> High levels of state and county government spending and debt are

Read More →

There’s nothing so permanent as a temporary government measure

Over the past year, I have often expressed concern about the possibility that “temporary” measures taken in response to the COVID-19 emergency would become permanent. That’s a serious problem when it comes to civil liberties. But we also need to consider the ramifications for the state’s fiscal decision-making. Just like the

Read More →