“Barbara Marumoto Image”

I have a few choice words about the possible tax increases pending before the Legislature.

There are more ways than one to skin a cat — and they are all painful. Whether the majority raises the 4 percent general excise tax (GET) or allows the counties to enact a sales tax, or worse yet, both, it’s going to hurt the consumer, the small businessperson, the economy and the entire State. The sales tax is a major headache. The mechanic will charge you 4 percent for the service on your car. Then he will charge you 5 percent on the parts. A whole lot of extra paperwork. Technically the GET is a tax on him. The sales tax is a tax on the consumer. Headache Number 2003.

The long-term care tax and the conveyance tax increase proposals further compounds the pain.

This session I had high hopes that we could enact a short retail tax holiday for our beleaguered retail industry. I would have been happy with a mere three day holiday on clothing under $100. Some small relief would have demonstrated that the government understands the plight of small business. But, alas, the bill moved out of one committee only to die in House Finance.

Rather than helping retailers, the sales tax does the opposite. It hurts the industry — maybe fatally. The GET increase won’t help anyone either.

”’State Rep. Barbara Marumoto, is a Republican in the state House of Representatives, who represents the Kahala and Kaimuki districts.”’

”’To reach legislators, see:”’ “Representatives at a Glance” and “Senators at a Glance”

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