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No New Taxes! No New Taxes!

That will be the war cry by small business owners and other concerned citizens at the “No New Taxes” rally on April 17 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol.

Outraged by the plan by Hawaii Democrat lawmakers to raise state taxes an unprecedented $430 million a year, Rick Hamada, morning talk show host on KHVH, is coordinating the rally and is urging small business owners and concerned citizens to join the protest rally scheduled during Hamada’s morning broadcast.

This is the second rally he’s helped coordinate this month to help send lawmakers a message that the Hawaii citizenry will not stand for another series of tax increases, especially since Hawaii already is the fourth highest taxed state in the nation, and the proposed increases will take Hawaii to first in the nation.

Democrats, with a few exceptions in the Senate, voted to raise Hawaii’s taxes by $430 million through three proposals, including a 12.5 percent increase in the general excise tax ($180 million); a 7-year plan that imposes a monthly tax on anyone with business interests, land ownership or residency in Hawaii to fund a socialist long-term care government fund ($100 million +); and to give the Honolulu City & County the right to tax anyone purchasing goods on Oahu an additional 1 percent sales tax in addition to the 4.5 percent general excise tax they increased ($120 million). Democrats in the House are supporting both the long-term care tax increase and the new county sales tax proposal.

The governor says she is not planning to support legislation that will increase taxes, however Democrat lawmakers are already counting the number of votes they have so they can override her vetoes.

Hamada coordinated a similar all out “No New Taxes” protest in 1998 over then Gov. Benjamin Cayetano’s proposal to raise the state’s general excise taxes.

Hundreds of people turned out to what was deemed the “Hawaii Tea Party,” and Hamada and others who attended the rally were credited with sending an effective message to lawmakers that ultimately helped kill the tax increase proposal.

Bob Twogood, owner of Twogood Kayaks and Canoes Hawaii, a Kailua-based business that sells and rents high performance and recreational kayaks and canoes and offers paddling lessons, attended the 1998 rally and is planning to go to the April 17 protest.

Twogood says in 1998, he shut down his store, pulled his kids from school, and recruited his employees and family members to attend the Hawaii Tea Party.

“Most people do not get involved in politics. But the only way the politicians will respond to what citizens want is if citizens get involved and send lawmakers a message,” Twogood says. “We must help create an awareness for others in the community so they will realize what is being proposed and take action.”

Twogood says he is adamantly opposed to lawmakers raising taxes when Hawaii is already the forth highest taxed state in the nation, and while government is so “inefficient and ineffective.” He plans to shut down his store for the morning of April 17 and give his employees the morning off if they will agree to attend the rally. He also will take his children out of school during the morning of April 17 so they can benefit from a “good civics lesson” and he will encourage the management of his children’s school to take all of the students to the state Capitol that morning so they can learn one of the most important lessons in life: an engaged citizenry is of utmost importance and can impact decisions made by government leaders that affect their lives and businesses.

HawaiiReporter.com staff and supporters will attend the rally, along with members of Small Business Hawaii, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and the Hawaii Realtors Association.

”’Those attending are asked to bring protest signs and old No New Taxes shirts from the 1998 rally. Anyone wanting a new No New Tax shirt at a cost of $12 can call HawaiiReporter.com at 524-4500 before the event. No shirts will be sold on state property. There is a limited supply.”’

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