Twenty-nine Democrats in the 51-member Hawaii House of Representatives announced yesterday they oppose several tax increases recommend by a consultant to the state Tax Review Commission.
The proposals will be heard at a hearing set for today at 11 a.m. at the state capitol and will cover a draft report entitled “Study of the Hawaii Tax System: Final Report” prepared for the Tax Review Commission by The PFM Group.
Specifically, the House members oppose the proposals:
- To increase in the general excise tax rate by 0.5 percent
- To impose income tax on pension income
- To increase the corporate income tax rate
- And to eliminate income tax deductions for real property taxes
The House Democrats said they also reserve their right to oppose other recommendations in the draft report: “We feel that such a significant net tax increase probably will be detrimental to private businesses, residents, or both, and that PFM has not sufficiently analyzed the impact of the tax increase on the economy, businesses, and residents.”
The testimony in opposition was submitted on behalf of the following:
Henry J.C. Aquino Karen Awana Tom Brower
Rida T.R. Cabanilla Mele Carroll Pono Chong
Isaac W. Choy Ty Cullen Heather H. Giugni
Sharon E. Har Mark J. Hashem Robert N. Herkes
Linda Ichiyama Ken Ito Jo Jordan
Derek S.K. Kawakami Marilyn B. Lee Sylvia Luke
Dee Morikawa John M. Mizuno Mark M. Nakashima
Marcus R. Oshiro Calvin K.Y. Say James K. Tokioka
Clift Tsuji Gregg Takayama (Representative-Elect)
Ryan I. Yamane Kyle T. Yamashita Jessica Wooley
Sen. Sam Slom, the lone Republican in the 25-member Senate, said the report represents a “colossal waste of time and money.”
Slom said Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed the Tax Review commissioners and instead of looking at the state’s tax structure independently, they have fallen into line to support the governor politically rather than to fairly look at the economic ramifications of what they are advocating.
Slom joins the 29 Democrats and others who believe additional taxes will harm Hawaii residents, businesses and any economic recovery.
The report and the meeting agenda can be accessed via the Tax Department’s website