State of Hawaii Archives: on Tax Reform


Andria Tupola: Work on local tax policies; give more back to the people

Representative Tupola is introducing legislation to make the recently established state earned income tax credit refundable. "We have the 2nd highest tax burden in the country, and it's about time we start taking the burden off the people," said Tupola. "We have seen significant advances made by several private sector employers as they forecast the benefits of the tax cuts," said Tupola. "We need to continue reforming our local tax policies to give more money back to the people."
Source: Hawaii Free Press on 2018 Hawaii gubernatorial race Jan 16, 2018

Brian Schatz: No state flat tax; increase sin tax & decrease sales tax

Source: Hawaii Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

Daniel Akaka: The Bush tax cuts helped the richest, not those in need

Q: Do you favor making the tax cuts permanent?

A: We cannot make tax cuts permanent. Already this year itís projected that we will have a deficit of $600 billion. And this will be passed on. We have to borrow money from China and now Japan as well. The Bush administration took us from a surplus to a multi-trillion dollar federal deficit, and government should be taking care of those in need help the most and not take care of the richest.

Source: 2006 HI Senate Debate on PBS Hawaii Aug 31, 2006

David Ige: State must operate within its means instead of raising taxes

We must take care of business first. As Governor, I will submit a balanced budget to the Legislature. As the Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee for the past four years I crafted a balanced budget in each of those years. During that time I reduced the current Governor's spending proposals by a total of $1 billion. That is why the State now enjoys an $800 million surplus.

I also rejected the current Governor's proposal to tax retirees' pensions. I refused to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. In addition, I rejected his proposals to tax soda and plastic bags, as well as his attempts to raise the Transient Accommodations Tax by an additional 2%. This would have raised the cost of a Hawai'i vacation for tourists, making Hawai'i less competitive among visitor destinations throughout the world. My philosophy in budgeting is that the State must operate within its means instead of raising taxes. I will not propose new programs when our state budget lacks the resources to pay for them.

Source: 2014 Hawaii gubernatorial campaign website DavidIge.org Aug 9, 2014

Duke Aiona: Shift taxes from low-income families to higher-income

Aiona adds, "A fair, broad-based, and transparent tax system, coupled with fiscally responsible policies, will enable government to provide services more efficiently and within its means. For example, we need to take a deeper look at certain activities that have received special tax exemptions. We also need to ensure that those who owe taxes pay their fair share via vigorous enforcement and follow-up."
Source: Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Ed Case: Bush tax cuts unaffordable; targeted middle-class cuts ok

Q: Do you favor making the tax cuts permanent?

A: I voted against that initiative. It was unaffordable, especially as we had already intervened in Iraq, and one could see that was going to be far more expensive than anybody projected. I had voted against some tax cut extensions, especially those for the very upper income families, because I don't think it's fair, or necessary. But I have voted for some extensions that I think have very targeted purposes and are targeted for the middle class.

Source: 2006 HI Senate Debate on PBS Hawaii Aug 31, 2006

Josh Green: Increase taxes on luxury units; eliminate taxes on food

Make housing for Hawaii residents our top priority by aggressively enforcing existing laws to shut down the 25,000 illegal vacation rentals across the state, taxing the 35,000 vacant investor units, and limiting permits and increasing taxes on new luxury developments by out of state investors.

By 2026, my administration will shut down more than 10,000 illegal vacation rentals and seek to make nonresident investment properties more expensive, so we can return needed housing to Hawaii residents and lower prices by increasing supply.

We will also address the overall cost of living in our state by eliminating taxes on food, medicine and other essentials to help make Hawaii more affordable for residents.

Source: 2022 Hawaii Governor campaign website JoshGreenForHawaii.com Aug 17, 2022

Kai Kahele: Increase property tax rates for non-resident owners

The governor should work with the counties to dramatically increase property tax rates for non-resident owners, crack down on illegal vacation rentals, and de-incentivize short-term rentals in our local neighborhoods.
Source: 2022 Hawaii Gubernatorial campaign website KaiKahele.com May 12, 2022

Kirk Caldwell: We have to reduce taxes to attract businesses and jobs

Government is not an entrepreneur. It can't start and grow new businesses. But we can do a dramatically better job to foster and attract them. Hawai'i has some of the highest income tax brackets in the US and difficult regulatory burdens. We're at an all-time low in business rankings. We must make our state a better place for innovators and entrepreneurs to do business. If we want to attract more industries and jobs beyond tourism, we have to reduce taxes, bureaucracy, and over-regulation.
Source: 2022 Hawaii Gubernatorial campaign website KirkCaldwell.org Feb 11, 2022

Marissa Kerns: I am opposing any new taxes for the next four years

Q: Do you support amending the state constitution to allow taxing investment properties to fund the public education system?

KERNS: No, I am opposing any new taxes for the next four years. Look now what happened to our Hawaiian taxpayer papaya exporters in the Big Island. It's a disgrace.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat on 2022 Hawaii Senate race Oct 1, 2018

Neil Abercrombie: Add alcohol & soft drink tax; repeal state tax deduction

I am proposing 2 fixes to the tax code that will increase revenues to the state. One is a repeal of the state tax deduction for state taxes--an absurdity in the tax code, the elimination of which is long overdue. This change will affect all taxpayers who itemize, so we will phase in implementation for middle-income earners to lessen the immediate effect.

The other fix is to implement the recommendation of the Tax Review Commission to treat pension income like all other income for tax purposes, as is done when preparing federal taxes. My proposal includes a provision so those who are most dependent on their pensions will not be taxed.

I am proposing what is an overdue increase in the alcohol tax and will also propose a fee on soda & similar drinks. We can no longer ignore the fact that consumption of these & other such products contribute to rising public health costs. Revenues from these fees will be used to repair the public health infrastructure and also to fund prevention and education programs

Source: 2011 Hawaii State of the State Address Jan 24, 2011

Ron Curtis: Make tax cuts for individuals permanent; no expiration

We need to revise the tax reform passed in 2017 to make the individual income tax cuts permanent. We also need to address the mortgage interest deduction cap of $750K. In July 2017, the average cost of a single family home in Hawaii was over $795K. Hawaii has the worst ratio of average housing costs per sq. ft. compared to average income in the nation. We need to revise the tax reform to take that ratio into account when calculating the income tax mortgage deduction caps for each state.
Source: 2018 Hawaii Senate campaign website RonCurtis808.com Aug 8, 2018

Josh Green: Every income bracket will be paying less state income tax

Following recommendations of the 2020 Tax Commission, we'll reform our tax code to provide for a cost-of-living adjustment in response to recent inflationary pressures. This plan provides universal tax relief by:Every income bracket in Hawai'i will be paying less state income tax.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Hawaii legislature Jan 23, 2023

  • The above quotations are from State of Hawaii Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 18, 2023