BY MALIA HILL – Ever wonder how much Hawaii’s Department of Taxation spends per year?  Thanks to Hawaii Sunshine, you can ponder their expenses at leisure.  As you may have heard, Hawaii’s tax revenues have dropped about 5.5% so far this fiscal year (compared to last year).

And with a state budget that reaches into the billions (and revenues that still can’t cover the spending), it’s interesting to see that we spend about $1.14 million just on the office supplies needed to collect the money that buys those office supplies.  And one can’t help but wonder which “Dues & Subscriptions” from the Dept. of Taxation cost $291,472.34 in 2009.

If they spent it all renewing the office copy of Martha Stewart Living, I think we need to ask for our money back.

Actually, a surprising number of the entries at the Hawaii Sunshine site have you wishing you could get a refund.  That’s the funny thing about government spending.

When you look at it in the abstract, you can come up with an excuse for any number of the state expenditures.  But next time you look at an entry at Hawaii Sunshine, instead of thinking of that payment as some random state money, think of it as one of your rent payments, or monthly grocery budget, or finally having the money to fix that funny sound your car has been making.

It sure makes you want to see a little more accountability in state spending, doesn’t it?

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