“Lynn Finnegan 2006 Image”

Significant tax relief measures will not have an opportunity for debate and public input, because they are on the brink of dying this session if they do not receive a hearing.

All I want is for these measures to be heard and given fair opportunity for discussion. Without a hearing, our efforts to alleviate some of the pressures on Hawaii families are moot.

I am deeply concerned about stories I’ve read recently in the media about inflation, taxing the poor, residents struggling to keep their homes, and health-care costs on the rise. Stories like these appear too often and serve to reaffirm and fuel the Hawaii Republican push for tax relief.

Since the beginning of session, forward-thinking Republicans championed measures to provide relief from the heavy tax burdens placed on Hawaii residents. With everything increasing from taxes, to rent, to electricity bills, this relief would start to improve dire situations for many islanders.

We’re seeing a frightening trend with people giving up their very limited recreational spending to afford their growing spending for basic necessities. Many could stand to hold onto three hundred dollars or more in their paychecks or up to 1,600 dollars in tax rebates.

Victoria Lynch, an Aiea resident and single mother, recently told me that many would definitely appreciate keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. She says of course she could use the extra cash flow. She just borrowed three hundred dollars from her grandparents to fix her car. Her rent is going up and she just caught up with back payments that she had. She says it is definitely hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are many residents in Hawaii who are experiencing the same problems.

I strongly believe residents have entrusted lawmakers with their money and should give some back now that we have excess.

More and more people are living pay check to pay check. This is unacceptable. Without relief from this financial strangulation, we’ll force more people to consider leaving Hawaii or worse yet, find shelter on the streets.

This is not the first time Republicans foresaw red flags with policy. We waved red flags when we initially asked Democrats for a repeal of the gas cap. At long last, they are taking the gas cap repeal seriously.

Although Republicans have been the engine behind the gas cap experiment repeal, this year’s move to repeal this law has no winners, just consumers who lost much. Consumers will continue to lose until the gas cap is repealed.

Like the gas cap, the Minority Caucus

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