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Budget & Spending

‘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

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Watchdog group gives Maui County ‘D’ grade for financial practices

The following article published by Maui Now was based on a news release issued Sept. 28, 2021 by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. _____________ Maui County has earned a “D” grade from the national government accounting watchdog group Truth in Accounting, for leaving its taxpayers with bills of about $15,300 each to pay

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‘Jenga’ budgeting is no game

Last week, I accidentally demolished the state budget. What’s more, I was helped by Maui residents who attended the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s recent event in Wailuku concerning “The real state of Hawaii’s finances.” The guest speaker for the event was Sheila Weinberg of Truth in Accounting, an organization dedicated

Read More →

Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

Read More →

NEWS RELEASE: Ige’s ‘intent to veto’ list praised

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 23, 2021. _____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii CEO Keli’i Akina says the list reflects a commendable effort to avoid increasing Hawaii’s taxpayer burden HONOLULU, June 23, 2021 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for declaring his intent

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Now is the time to ‘get real’ about Hawaii’s future

Hawaii’s “brain drain” has been an ubiquitous subject in our public consciousness for decades.  But given the economic devastation prompted by the state’s yearlong COVID-19 lockdowns, we now are even more vulnerable to losing the state’s best and brightest to opportunities elsewhere.  Legislative tax bills such as the notorious SB56

Read More →

Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

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Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

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 →

Watchdog group gives Maui County ‘D’ grade for financial practices

The following article published by Maui Now was based on a news release issued Sept. 28, 2021 by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. _____________ Maui County has earned a “D” grade from the national government accounting watchdog group Truth in Accounting, for leaving its taxpayers with bills of about $15,300 each to pay

Read More →

‘Jenga’ budgeting is no game

Last week, I accidentally demolished the state budget. What’s more, I was helped by Maui residents who attended the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s recent event in Wailuku concerning “The real state of Hawaii’s finances.” The guest speaker for the event was Sheila Weinberg of Truth in Accounting, an organization dedicated

Read More →

Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

Read More →

NEWS RELEASE: Ige’s ‘intent to veto’ list praised

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 23, 2021. _____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii CEO Keli’i Akina says the list reflects a commendable effort to avoid increasing Hawaii’s taxpayer burden HONOLULU, June 23, 2021 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for declaring his intent

Read More →

Now is the time to ‘get real’ about Hawaii’s future

Hawaii’s “brain drain” has been an ubiquitous subject in our public consciousness for decades.  But given the economic devastation prompted by the state’s yearlong COVID-19 lockdowns, we now are even more vulnerable to losing the state’s best and brightest to opportunities elsewhere.  Legislative tax bills such as the notorious SB56

Read More →

Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

Read More →

Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

Read More →