The Hawaii Senate’s budget committee has killed a bill that would have established a state earned income tax credit aimed at helping low-income families.

The Ways and Means Committee, led by Sen. Jill Tokuda, deferred the measure Monday. She said the proposal would have a $19 million impact on state revenue and instead she is “looking at other ways” to help those in lower income brackets.

The proposal had broad support from numerous organizations including the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawaii Children’s Action Network, Community Alliance on Prisons, League of Women Voters, Hawaii Primary Care Association and Aloha United Way.

Chair Ways and Means Sen Jill Tokuda. 25 jan 2016. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Sen. Jill Tokuda chairs the Ways and Means Committee and killed a proposal to create a state earned income tax credit. Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

Five related bills were also introduced in the House — HB 2087, HB 1548, HB 1727, HB 1920, HB 2087 — but most haven’t had a single hearing.

The Ways and Means Committee also killed Senate Bill 2089, which would exempt certain low-income rental subsidy payments from the general excise tax. Tokuda said the bill could cost the state up to $4.5 million. A similar measure is still alive in the House.

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