Is it a ‘Sin’ to Travel? Maybe According to the Federal Government Tax Code

This week, the Federal Government ended its two week tax holiday on airline ticket sales.

Mark Dunkerly, Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Airlines, says Hawaiian’s customers saved substantially.  The tax holiday also demonstrated how burdensome taxes and fees have become on air travelers, Dunkerly said.

Over 20 percent, or more than 35 dollars per Hawaiian airlines ticket, goes to government entities.

Lawmakers typical tax alcohol, tobacco and firearms at considerable more than other products and they call those taxes “sin” taxes. Essentially the government – often state, local and federal – try to use their taxing powers to dissuade people from using these products, even though they are legal.

In an editorial in Hawaii Reporter, Dunkerly is critical that airlines are taxed as prohibitively as products such as firearms and alcohol.

“There are no alternatives to air travel for moving in and around and to and from the State.  Flying is inseparable from our way of life,” Dunkerly said.

The public does not realize how substantial the tax burden is because federal regulations prohibit airlines from listing the taxes and fees in advertising. And the restrictions will be come more rigid in the new year.

Dunkerly said air travelers are being denied the opportunity to understand how high the taxes are because there is no transparency.

He points out that in the last decade, taxes and fees on local airlines tickets, has more than doubled.

FBI Tracking Victims of Financial Company

The Honolulu branch of the FBI announced today that it is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying Hawaii residents defrauded by a Missouri-based company doing business as 1st Financial Resource LLC and 1st Federal Resource LLC.

The company said it was operating a foreclosure abatement program, but required advance fees of $2,000 to $5,000.

U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis, Missouri, has filed criminal charges against the company owner, Marien Brown, aka Marien White.

“The FBI believes that there are 87 separate victims in Hawaii who paid advance fees to the defendant.  However, only 40 of these victims have been identified and responded to FBI questionnaires.  Accordingly, there are 47 Hawaii families who may have been victimized with whom we’d like to speak,” said Tom Simon, FBI spokesman in Hawaii. “If anyone in Hawaii wired or mailed money to Missouri in care of Marien Brown, Marien White, 1st Financial Resource LLC, or 1st Federal Resource LLC, we are asking that they directly contact the FBI office in St. Louis at 314-231-4324.”

Parents, Teacher Rally to Stop Changes to DOE Curriculum

On Tuesday, August 16, parents and teachers will rally at the Board of Education meeting. They want to stop the board from changing graduation requirements.

The Board may eliminate one of two required social studies credits from its mandated curriculum.
Aloha POSSE, which stands of Preserve Our Social Studies Education, is trying to stop the change because they believe it will be detrimental to students.
DOE administrators maintain that students can still take a second social studies class as an option, it just is not required.

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