Now that the New Year is off and running and we are quaking in our boots waiting for our Legislature to reconvene, here are some of the ideas that we have been following. We’ve put them into a Word Find puzzle for your amusement.
Our Governor was thinking of proposing a new namesake, a tax on tourists called a VISITOR GREEN FEE. It would be imposed on any visitor to a park or beach but may be prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s PRIVILEGES and Immunities Clause.
Our Department of Transportation has been doing several studies and is going to propose a ROAD USAGE CHARGE which is supposed to replace the current gas tax. Others have been proposing a CARBON TAX which would be based on carbon dioxide emissions and would be a lot more expensive, at least according to the bill introduced last year.
Housing advocates have proposed an EMPTY HOMES TAX to get at those nasty people who buy homes in Hawaii but don’t live in them. State lawmakers unsuccessfully tried attaching it to the CONVEYANCE tax but the fit was awkward at best. The problem is that only the COUNTIES have the right to charge a REAL PROPERTY tax, and some of the counties were thinking of imposing an empty homes tax themselves.
Governor Green proposed a General EXCISE exemption for food and MEDICINE, which would be quite a lot of tax relief for ordinary people. Opponents point out that existing exemptions for FOOD STAMP purchases (yes, I know that is old terminology) and RX DRUGS, as well as income tax CREDIT for lower income folks, give lots of relief already and wonder out loud if the State can afford any more. But we at the Tax FOUNDATION of Hawaii have been grousing about the COMPLEXITY of some of the credits, and wondering how many people have been missing out on them because of FAILURE TO FILE the right claim form with the tax return.
The terms in all capitals in this article can be found in the Word Find 15X15 matrix below. Words and phrases can be forward, backward, up, down, or diagonal. Good luck in the New Year!