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Budget & Spending

Gov. Ige’s fiscal 2021 budget ‘unsustainable’

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii warns against drawing down the state’s surplus HONOLULU, Dec. 18, 2019 >> Gov. David Ige’s proposed $15 billion budget for fiscal 2021 is headed toward a fiscal cliff because it would draw on the state’s financial reserves, leaving the state unprepared to deal with a

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Honolulu P3s could violate city debt limits

This commentary was published originally Oct. 10, 2019, in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu policymakers are increasingly pursuing private-public partnerships for the city’s large infrastructure projects, allegedly to introduce efficiency or good financial management, but also, it appears, as a way to avoid exceeding the city’s legal “debt affordability limit.” This

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Grassroot Institute hails report showing $88B debt

MEDIA RELEASE from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii The Hawaii CHANGE Initiative highlights the state’s future financial obligations HONOLULU, Oct. 10, 2019 >> Hawaii’s state and county expenses and investments over the next 30 years are estimated at more than $88 billion, according to a new report by the Hawaii CHANGE Initiative,

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Time is now for Honolulu County spending cap

This commentary was originally published May 30, 2019, in Honolulu Civil Beat. If Honolulu County ever needed a cap on annual spending growth, that time is now. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s recently approved budget for fiscal year 2020 called for a $220 million increase in county expenditures over the previous year, and the

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Honolulu needs a spending cap, pronto!

As the new fiscal year approaches for the City and County of Honolulu, Oahu residents have found themselves in the middle of a tax-and-spend death spiral. Unsurprisingly, the over-budget and behind-schedule Honolulu rail project is at the heart of it all, raising an important question for Oahu taxpayers: Will the

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‘Smart’ spending cap would be wise for Maui

The Maui County Council is planning to increase property taxes to balance its proposed fiscal 2020 budget, but a far better option would be to impose a “smart” spending cap that would eventually bring its spending in line with its income — without raising taxes. A smart spending cap is set at

Read More →

Let’s get smart about government spending

When it comes to political promises about restraining government spending, there’s a saying that comes to mind: “Talk is cheap.” State and county policymakers can say they intend to keep spending at reasonable levels. They might promise to not let their spending outrun revenues. They may even make pledges about

Read More →

Akina decries Hawaii Legislature’s ‘backward budgeting’

The Hawaii Legislature has been considering a $16 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 that would spend more money than it’s projected to take in. As a result, it is scrambling to find new ways to raise tax revenue, and that, says Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii,

Read More →

State budget needs bigger cushion to weather crisis

A new Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report suggests ways to build a financial reserve HONOLULU, April 2, 2019 >> Hawaii’s state budget does not have big enough cushion to deal with a deep recession, if one should hit, so lawmakers should rein in spending and build up a financial reserve, rather

Read More →

‘Backward budgeting’ wrong way to move forward

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a myriad of new tax increases in order to pay for their spending plans, but instead they should clamp down on their spending so tax hikes aren’t needed. The Legislature on March 27 sent a record high $16 billion budget plan to Gov. David Ige for early

Read More →

Gov. Ige’s fiscal 2021 budget ‘unsustainable’

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii warns against drawing down the state’s surplus HONOLULU, Dec. 18, 2019 >> Gov. David Ige’s proposed $15 billion budget for fiscal 2021 is headed toward a fiscal cliff because it would draw on the state’s financial reserves, leaving the state unprepared to deal with a

Read More →

Honolulu P3s could violate city debt limits

This commentary was published originally Oct. 10, 2019, in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu policymakers are increasingly pursuing private-public partnerships for the city’s large infrastructure projects, allegedly to introduce efficiency or good financial management, but also, it appears, as a way to avoid exceeding the city’s legal “debt affordability limit.” This

Read More →

Grassroot Institute hails report showing $88B debt

MEDIA RELEASE from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii The Hawaii CHANGE Initiative highlights the state’s future financial obligations HONOLULU, Oct. 10, 2019 >> Hawaii’s state and county expenses and investments over the next 30 years are estimated at more than $88 billion, according to a new report by the Hawaii CHANGE Initiative,

Read More →

Time is now for Honolulu County spending cap

This commentary was originally published May 30, 2019, in Honolulu Civil Beat. If Honolulu County ever needed a cap on annual spending growth, that time is now. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s recently approved budget for fiscal year 2020 called for a $220 million increase in county expenditures over the previous year, and the

Read More →

Honolulu needs a spending cap, pronto!

As the new fiscal year approaches for the City and County of Honolulu, Oahu residents have found themselves in the middle of a tax-and-spend death spiral. Unsurprisingly, the over-budget and behind-schedule Honolulu rail project is at the heart of it all, raising an important question for Oahu taxpayers: Will the

Read More →

‘Smart’ spending cap would be wise for Maui

The Maui County Council is planning to increase property taxes to balance its proposed fiscal 2020 budget, but a far better option would be to impose a “smart” spending cap that would eventually bring its spending in line with its income — without raising taxes. A smart spending cap is set at

Read More →

Let’s get smart about government spending

When it comes to political promises about restraining government spending, there’s a saying that comes to mind: “Talk is cheap.” State and county policymakers can say they intend to keep spending at reasonable levels. They might promise to not let their spending outrun revenues. They may even make pledges about

Read More →

Akina decries Hawaii Legislature’s ‘backward budgeting’

The Hawaii Legislature has been considering a $16 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 that would spend more money than it’s projected to take in. As a result, it is scrambling to find new ways to raise tax revenue, and that, says Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii,

Read More →

State budget needs bigger cushion to weather crisis

A new Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report suggests ways to build a financial reserve HONOLULU, April 2, 2019 >> Hawaii’s state budget does not have big enough cushion to deal with a deep recession, if one should hit, so lawmakers should rein in spending and build up a financial reserve, rather

Read More →

‘Backward budgeting’ wrong way to move forward

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a myriad of new tax increases in order to pay for their spending plans, but instead they should clamp down on their spending so tax hikes aren’t needed. The Legislature on March 27 sent a record high $16 billion budget plan to Gov. David Ige for early

Read More →