Home Blog Page 3

How Long Does It Take to Have a Home on Kauai?

Today, we focus on Kauai real property tax, thanks to an alert reader who has given us a horrifying account of something so commonplace as buying a home there.  How long do you think it takes between buying a home on Kauai and having the “home exemption” effective for real property tax there? Did you guess 21 months?  That’s right,...

Cashing In On Production Credits

In this space, I often have unflattering things to say about tax credits.  Every year, legislators propose tax credits for some little-noticed niche in an industry.  Sometimes the credit is well thought through, and sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes the desired effect can be accomplished more cheaply and simply, and sometimes the justification for the credit is sketchy at best. For...

Weekends Safe Once Again, Maybe

Back in 2014, we wrote in this space about a nasty Honolulu City & County rule involving real property tax appeals.  That rule said that if you as a property owner didn’t like your real property tax assessment and you wanted to appeal it, the appeal had better be in by January 15th.  It didn’t matter if the government...

Wayfair – Playing Catch-Up

This week, we continue with our coverage of Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court case that held online sellers can be made to collect state sales taxes even if they don’t have a physical presence in that state. Here in Hawaii, Act 41 of 2018 was fashioned after the South Dakota threshold and says that if a business has 200 transactions...

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...