There are a number of common experiences that bind us here in Hawaii. The trade winds. The warm beaches. The gentle showers. And, yes, the General Excise Tax.

Whether you’re poor or rich, young or old, buying a packet of li-hing mui or a new surfboard, you know the GET. And if you don’t, that’s because it’s being hidden in your bill. It’s the 4-percent tax on all of our receipts. It’s shaping our government. It’s shaping our businesses. It’s shaping our lives.

I’m going to explore how this tax actually affects our personal budgets in Hawaii. I’m looking for examples – favorite local snack foods, family doctors, nonprofits or small businesses – to paint a picture of how this broad tax contributes to Hawaiian life.

I have a few ideas of products that would make good examples. Do you have any personal stories, favorite businesses, or interesting products that you think would be telling examples? I hope you’ll let me know.