An op-ed by House Minority Leader Gene Ward posted on the Hawaii Free Press states that the governor’s tax raises are substantial.
“In total his budget will increase taxes by over half a billion dollars in the next two years,” Ward wrote. “He proposes these tax increases at the worst possible time when our economic recovery is still fragile.”
The economy’s fragility aside, is Ward correct when he says that Gov. Neil Abercrombie‘s tax raises amount to more than $500 million over two years?
According to a handout given to journalists titled, “Abercrombie Administration Approach to Addressing FY 11-13 Budget Shortfall and Amendments to the FB 11-13 Executive Biennium Budget,” Ward does not exaggerate.
Page 2 of the handout lists “Proposed Revenue Measures” or, in other words, new taxes sought by the governor. The budget still needs to be approved by the Legislature, but assuming lawmakers sign off on Abercrombie’s proposals, it looks like over the next two fiscal years increased revenue for the state would amount to about $510.5 million.
The breakdown of the taxes follow:
HB 1092 & SB 1319 repealing state tax deduction exemption for federal adjusted gross income threshold
State tax on pension income exemption for federal adjusted gross income threshold
Repeal exclusion of royalties from penalties
TAT and TOT enhancements: Increase rate on timeshare properties
HB 1062 & SB 1289 raise alcohol tax by 50 percent
Establish a soda tax
HB 1019 & SB 1246 reduces general fund amounts/increases special fund allocations from barrel tax
HB 1089 & SB 1316 annual federal tax conformity measure
HB 1060 & SB 1287 Specifies funding for chief information officer position
HB 1084 & SB 1309 Establishes a special fund for the Lt. Gov.’s office
(The parentheses denote money saved by the state. Totals are calculated by subtracting the saved money from the tax revenues.)
According to the governor’s own information, taxes will increase by more than a half billion dollars over the next two fiscal years. Ward’s statement is accurate.
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