Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

1:35 p.m. Taxes 101

Members of the Tax Review Commission got an overview of Hawaii’s taxes at their monthly meeting this week.

Tax Department staff gave commission members a run down of more than a dozen taxes, including the General Excise Tax and cigarette tax.

The Power Point presentation also included tax revenues over the past five years (noting, for example, that the GET brought in $2.49 billion last fiscal year).

The commission meets twice a decade to try to ensure taxpayers are paying their fair share.

Commissioners, including Chairman Randy Iwase, requested more detailed information from the department for their next meeting, including:

  • A national comparison of Hawaii’s various tax rates
  • What percent of our taxes are paid by non residents
  • How much money does the state lose on Internet sales?
  • How many delinquent taxpayers does the state have, and how much is owed? What would the Tax Department need to collect the amount?

Nanea Kalani

12:15 p.m. Money For Tsunami Debris Cleanup

Dan Inouye inserted language into a Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill approved by the Senate today that helps fund tsunami debris tracking and cleanup.

According to a press release, “The bill includes at least $5 million for marine debris activities, an increase of $1 million.”

Inouye’s statement:

As an island state, Hawaii is particularly susceptible to the impacts of marine debris and, all the more so, because we are located near the center of a great network of ocean currents in the Pacific that tend to concentrate debris into a wide region known as the “garbage patch.” Our state has long been at the forefront of efforts dealing with this issue and in fact we have recently become the first state to develop and implement a comprehensive marine debris action plan.

Read Civil Beat’s article today on the garbage patch.

11 a.m. APEC News You Can Use

KITV has this report on how the “Welcome APEC” sign at UH Manoa will be taken down Thursday.

KITV also has this report about Hawaiian cultural training for state lawmakers in advance of the APEC summit.

For more APEC info, check out Civil Beat’s APEC beat, APEC topic page and APEC Survival Guide.

First Lady’s APEC Schedule

DC808 has this item on Michelle Obama‘s APEC itinerary. Her focus will be on childhood obesity and military families.

In related news, Reuters has this item on how Barack Obama will try to shift the spotlight from the Middle East and Europe to Asia with the APEC summit “to make good on his promise to deepen U.S. ties in the region.”

Excerpt:

When he took office in 2009, Obama vowed to make engagement with Asia-Pacific countries a priority and highlighted his personal connections to the region, including his upbringing in Hawaii and the four years he lived in Indonesia as a child. …

But there have been setbacks.

Nakasone To Be Sworn In

Karen Nakasone will be sworn in as a First Circuit Court judge at 4 p.m. in the Hawaii Supreme Court courtroom.

Briefing: Historic Preservation

Four state House and Senate committees are scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. at the Capitol to check on the progress of the State Historic Preservation Division meeting new National Park Service requirements.

Meetings: BOE

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold three meetings at the Queen Liliuokalani Building: a 9:30 a.m. meeting of the Human Resource Committee, an 11:30 a.m. meeting of the Finance and Infrastructure Committee and a 1:30 p.m. meeting of the full board.

The last meeting includes an update on the HSTA and UPW contract negotiations, likely in executive session.

Where’s Neil?

Here’s Neil:

Pacifica Honolulu Blessing, 1009 Kapiolani Boulevard, 1 p.m.
Swearing-in Ceremony for Judge Karen Nakasone, Hawaii Supreme Court, 4 p.m.

Lahaina Halloween No Nightmare

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government-related news:

UPDATE Hawaii County looks at recycling costs again

UPDATE Land use panel to review Kahoma project

Emergency protocol not followed in Konawaena school fake bomb incident

Kauai looks to limit variances in solar law

Kamehameha wants to keep former student off Keaau campus

New invasive species rules advance on Big Isle

Halloween in Lahaina: No nightmares on Front Street

Communications problem delays Nawiliwili Harbor drug case

Ford says Hawaii County needs more emergency cash reserves


Catch up on previous coverage:

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