Friday, September 21, 2018
Home Blog Page 2

Corrupt Local Power Players in Politics

BY FRANK SALVATO They say that all politics is local. This is true. Equally true is the notion that the government closest to you is the entity of government that affects you the most. So, when local politics and the power brokers behind local politics are corrupt the people suffer. Corrupt politicians are nothing new to politics. They are chronicled back...

Who Can We Beat Up With Property Tax?

The ongoing furor in Honolulu over the extent to which the rail project is adequately funded, or lack thereof, and the possibility of new state-mandated property taxes to fund education lead us to look at how we can or should make property tax classifications. Real property tax is currently a county tax.  It applies to real property that is owned...

If You Don’t Rock the Boat, How Do You Change Its Direction?

A little over twenty years ago, on May 6, 1998, then-Maui Mayor Linda Lingle was speaking to a group of business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. Before the meeting, she was told that she could speak on anything she wanted to, but she was specifically told not to criticize any specific person in the government.  She complied...

It’s Not Easy Bein’ — an Employer

It’s tough being an employer, especially here in Hawaii. If I am a business, or even a nonprofit, in Hawaii and I want to hire paid staff, there are all kinds of things to consider. Before I hire the worker, I need to comply with laws saying what I can and can’t ask the prospective employee.  I might get in trouble...

The Warlord’s Hospital (Part Two)

Author's Note: In June 1988, I joined an American non-governmental organization (NGO) and the Royal Thai Government Ministry of Public Health to manage a 5-year cooperative health and development project to provide comprehensive health services to highland residents of an isolated, politically sensitive and culturally unspoiled region in the extreme north of Thailand along the Burmese border. The Project included...

Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further

A few days ago, I got my annual emailed reminder from the Social Security folks that they prepared an electronic statement for me – they’ve gone green, so they aren’t sending those statements on paper any more.  So, for the first time in years, I logged in and looked at it.  There, in the middle of the page, were...

BREAKING NEWS FROM THE TAX FOUNDATION OF HAWAII

REVISED:  June 21, 2018, 4:40 pm.  Added link to SD law, revised discussion of differences. June 21, 2018:  The Supreme Court of the United States today decided Wayfair, Inc. v. South Dakota, and held that “physical presence” is not necessary before States can validly apply their taxing powers to businesses that have neither persons nor property in a State but...

Can’t You Just Change the Agenda?

Recently, State Auditor Les Kondo shocked the public and some Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board members when he charged, at a HART board meeting, that HART employees had been required to record all interviews with State Auditor personnel and then submit the recordings to management to be transcribed.  That’s “interference with the audit process,” he said. What happened...

The Warlord’s Hospital (Part One)

Author’s Note: After two years of budget travel through fifteen Asia-Pacific countries and a wonderful visit to the USA – hosted all along the way by local and national YMCAs, I had settled high in the rugged, jungle-clad mountains along the Burmese border in the extreme north of Thailand. The journey to this remote outpost was like living the...

Balanced Budget

If you are a serious student of Hawaii constitutional law, here is a question for you.  Where in our state constitution does it say we have to have a balanced budget?  The answer appears later in this article. The part of our constitution directly governing our state’s budget is Article VII, section 8.  It says that “the governor shall submit...