IRS Revokes Tax Exempt Status for 1,524 Hawaii Non Profits
The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax exempt status for 1,524 organizations in Hawaii. They are listed, broken down by name, city and zip code here.
The IRS believes the vast majority of these organizations are defunct, said David Tucker II, an IRS spokesperson.
There IRS also is providing guidance for those affected organizations still in existence on how to apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status, including retroactive reinstatement.
Hawaii Presents Its Fiscal Case to Fitch
This week, the Department of Budget & Finance made a second presentation to the nation’s third major credit agency, Fitch, in hopes that the rating will not be decreased and Hawaii’s economic outlook will be “stable.”
This comes after Moody’s on May 17, 2011 downgraded Hawaii’s General Obligation Bond rating. That will cost taxpayers more money this fall when the state issues between $500 million and $650 million in GO bonds to fund state projects for which taxpayers guarantee the repayment of debt. On $1 million worth of bonds with 20 basis points difference, taxpayers would see a $2,000 increase for every million dollars worth of GO bonds issued.
The May Moody’s report, which issued Hawaii a “Aa2″ rating for for an estimated $5.1 billion in debt, down from its former “Aa1″ rating, identified significant areas of concern about Hawaii’s fiscal health including Hawaii’s “strained” state financial operations, the depletion of its reserves in fiscal year 2011, and covering budget shortfalls with one-time solutions.
The next GO bond that the state plans to issue in August or September 2011 could cost the state between $1 million to $2.5 million more. Historically, over the last 10 years, the State plans to issue GO bonds twice a year for anywhere between $250M to $450M for each issue, Young said. These GO bond issues also will be impacted.
Meanwhile Standard & Poor’s maintained its existing rating of “AA” with a “Stable Outlook.”
With one credit rating agency downgrading Hawaii and the other maintaining its rating, the Fitch report will be closely watched by investors.
City Property Enforcement Bill Signed Into Law
The city’s Acting Mayor Douglas Chin signed Bill 3, CD1, FD1, this week, which clarifies and adds requirements for historic home owners to gain and maintain property tax exemptions.
“The City administration intends to enforce violations of all exemptions and dedications,” said Chin. “Although Mayor Carlisle is currently in Taiwan and Mainland China to promote sister-city relationships and tourism, he approved the immediate signing of Bill 3 because cleaning up the abuses of the exemptions has been a priority of this administration, and that’s why we will be hiring two auditors shortly.”
These city said new positions will ensure compliance for the 144,000 home exemptions, the 7,500 non-profit exemptions and the 1,800 dedications.
Anyone who is found in violation can be forced to pay back taxes as well as penalties.
Prostitution bill signed into law
Honolulu, Hawaii. HB44, a bill that makes it a misdemeanor to offer or agree to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of sexual conduct within 750 feet of a school or public park, was signed into law on June 1, 2011 by Governor Abercrombie. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Karl Rhoads (District 28 – Downtown, Chinatown) is now Act 74 and takes effect on July 1, 2011.
“Children and their parents, going to and from school or the park, should not be exposed to a gauntlet of prostitutes, pimps and johns,” said Rep. Rhoads. “HB 44 raises the penalty for johns, and subsequently helps to clear out prostitution in areas where children must travel. The Governor’s signing of this bill is a strong message that the public has a right to use public thoroughfares without being intimidated by illegal activity.”
ADVOCACY GROUP RELEASES REPORT ON BENEFITS OF TERM LIMITS
(Alexandria, VA)—Today Our Generation, a free market advocacy group released a research report which outlines the ways term limits benefit democracy. The report, “Term Limits: A Reform that Works,” was authored by term limits scholar Patrick Basham and edited by MacMillin Slobodien, Executive Director of Our Generation. The study details numerous examples of how term limits promote legislatures that create more energetic, independent, and effective deliberative legislative bodies.
The study examines the historical role of term limits and then looks at the state-level term limit movement, which occurred in the 1990s. The findings show that the 15 states that have adopted and kept term limits are more effective legislative bodies. Among the findings are the following:
-Term limits stimulate electoral competition;
-Term limits enable nontraditional candidates to run for office;
-Term Limits weaken the leadership control and seniority systems in legislative bodies; and
-Term Limits promote public policies compatible with limited government.
The report also highlights the need for term limits at both the federal and state level. In a survey that Our Generation distributed to voters nationwide, an overwhelming 96 percent of the respondents favored term limits for the U.S. Congress. The report also highlighted the fact that term limits lead to the election of candidates with real-world experience over career politicians; proof best demonstrated by examining the 15 states that currently have legislative term limits.
“Elected officials have almost become a ‘ruling class’ where rates of incumbency are astronomical, and politicians’ primary focus has shifted from legislating to fund-raising and getting re-elected,” said Our Generation’s Executive Director MacMillin Slobodien. “Term limits offer a check on the detrimental aspects of incumbency and require elected officials to focus on promises made to voters rather than promoting personal gains for re-election. Our survey results certainly suggest the term-limit movement is beginning to gain more steam. We can look forward to the influence term limits and their adoption will have in changing our country’s political culture for the better by fostering real reform.”
The full study is available at: http://ourgeneration.org. Our Generation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization founded in 2008 to research, educate and promote long-term free market solutions to today’s public policy concerns.