Political Radar

Tax relief

January 31st, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom outlined his fiscal plan for reporters on Friday morning, which includes $500 million in tax relief for working families.

That $500 million, or about $915 per year per family, would be reached by exempting food and medical supplies from the General Excise Tax and increasing Hawaii's personal tax exemption to the federal rate of $3,950 from $1,144.

Slom said the state could bear the hit in light of its $844 million surplus, announced by the governor in his State of the State address earlier this month.

“When the government says it loses revenue because it hasn’t taken money away from individuals or businesses — it’s our money,” Slom said. "They’re not losing anything.”

The Senate’s lone republican said last year 18 states cut taxes, and he hopes Hawaii can do the same this year.

He also proposed exempting business-to-business transactions involving tangible goods from the GET, a practice his budget director said is partly responsible for Hawaii’s high prices.

Additional fiscal measures presented by the Senate's one-man minority caucus include exempting Hawaii residents from the Transient Accommodation Tax to lower the cost of intrastate travel and stay-cations; repealing the state’s inheritance/estate tax; and providing for a minimum tax refund or tax credit to taxpayers when the state has excess revenues.

“We don’t think it’s a question of taking (revenue) away,” Slom said of his fiscal plan. “We think it’s a question of improving our business climate, therefore providing more business more activity and, in the end, more taxes. I mean, it’s always worked in the past — you don’t improve an economy by over taxation, spending and debt; you do improve it by providing for incentives.”

-- Sarah Zoellick

6 Responses to “Tax relief”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    Tax relief for me would be to pay for
    only one party and not both.
    Since I get represented by only one,
    I should pay for only one party but
    law requires me to pay for both.

  2. Manoa Kahuna:

    It's the same old Republican clap trap that has destroyed the middle class and widened the gap between us and the top 0.1% by skimming off the fruits of the work of the rest of society.

    History teaches this course will end badly.

  3. harleman6:

    I am kind of surprised by both of the responses so far. Its clear that both of you are very partisan. Did you look at the proposed legislation? Probably not. Increasing the personal exemption amount for state income taxes will benefit all income classes. In addition, exempting food and medical supplies will benefit the lower income groups more than the middle class or high income families. Its time to move away from politics and just look at the actual policies before making any judgments.

  4. Especially Incognito:

    "I am kind of surprised by both of the responses so far. Its clear that both of you are very partisan."

    One assumes I am partisan but I expect a bi-partisan effort in
    what goes on in Congress. It seems one sees only one
    side of comment and thinks partisan. I don't see one
    going down a two way street.
    Can't reverse out of a one way street.

    Keep going left or right
    and you end up in the same place. One small circle.

  5. harleman6:

    What you are referring to is the political situation in Congress, which is federal politics. The issue at hand here refers to statewide public policy, which is completely different that whatever goes on in DC. Again, look at the proposed policies and make sound arguments for/against the proposed legislation. Don't give the DC failed political culture as an argument against the proposed legislation by the Senate Minority in HAWAII..

  6. Especially Incognito:

    Talking about America and not just Hawaii.
    Unless one thinks Hawaii is not part of America.

    Grow roots before assuming.

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