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Thursday, January 7, 2010
January 7, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:25 PM :: 10530 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

TAX INCREASE # 1--Lawmakers Kokubun, Mercado  urge Hawaii counties to impose new 5% sales tax (how to finish off the economy)

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim and Sen. Russell Kokubun, both former county council members, said they support giving the counties the authority to impose a sales tax....

Kim grilled the mayors for not taking bigger steps last year to store away revenues in anticipation of even leaner years.

Kenoi responded that he submitted a balanced budget and did not see the wisdom in instituting furloughs to store more money away for next year.

Kim and Kokubun urged the mayors to support legislation allowing them to impose a sales tax.

There is now a 4 percent excise tax, except on O'ahu, which has an additional 0.5 percentage point levy that goes toward the city's transit system. (There is nothing in this article about abolishing the GET)

 

AP:  Hawaii's version of sales tax hides costs

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TAX INCREASE # 2--ADV: Tax diversion won't erase revenue woes (Adv to LEG -- raise taxes!)

Diverting the TAT money now at such a critical time will create more problems than it solves. The state needs to find new revenue streams of its own, such as brokering deals with the private sector to pitch in with some costs or eliminating tax incentives that are no longer critical. And elected leaders may have to bite the bullet and find new revenue from taxes and fees.

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TAX INCREASE # 3--Don’t take TAT – Maui mayor (1/2% GET Increase on agenda )

Tavares said she did not support a proposal by Ways and Means Chairwoman Sen. Donna Mercado Kim that would give counties authority to impose a sales tax as a means of closing their budget gaps and gaining more revenue independence from the state.

Tavares said establishing a sales tax would require the county to invest time, money and manpower to create a new system from scratch in order to deal with imposing, assessing and collecting the money. It would take so long to implement the new tax that the money would not be available in time to help with the current fiscal crisis, she said.

Instead, Tavares said she would favor a plan for the state to increase the general excise tax by half a percentage point and make that money available to the counties.

"Instead of giving us more taxing authority, why not use the taxing authority they already have?" she asked.

Kauai Mayor does likewise: County braces for furloughs

Hawaii Co: Council rejects budget fixes--Majority says Kenoi's the man to repair fiscal crunch

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TAX INCREASE # 4--Energy plan calls for 50¢ gas tax

Kaua‘i drivers would be forced to pay an additional 50 cents for every gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel they purchase if the County Council goes along with measures recommended in the final draft of the Kaua‘i Energy Sustainability Plan released this week.

That tax increase would generate $186 million for the county over the life of the 20-year plan and would fund a program incentivizing hybrid electric vehicles, according to consultant Douglas Hinrichs of Sentech Hawai‘i.

(This is how the Abercrombie/Hooser enviro-freak wing of Hawaii Dems is seeking to wean unions away from the Inouye old-boy wing.  If they can get enough ignorant eco-cultists to support tax increases on the basis that gas is too cheap, this religion would become a lucrative source of revenue for Gov't unions and contractors everywhere.  This concept will show up in the Leg--it did last session.) 

TOTALLY RELATED: Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires ($100/barrel oil tax)

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Lingle rejects union-BOE proposal

Smith said Lingle representatives, including Human Resources Director Marie Laderta and Budget Director Georgina Kawamura, met for about an hour and a half yesterday to listen to details about prior talks between the union and state education board and officials.

"I think it was very good for us to go over the details," Smith said.

Smith said one goal is to determine the essential personnel to open schools for instruction and determine their costs. The board and the administration have reached different estimates on the cost of a school day.

"We want to restore as many days as possible," Smith said. "We want to hammer out how much we can actually offer."

Toguchi said Lingle's previous proposal was "obviously not workable" and if the governor insists on it he see no progress being made in negotiations.

ADV: Governor 'revamping' proposal to end Hawaii teacher furloughs

(Keep going, just hold on until April and the RTTT funds--and RTTT accountability--will be pau as will be the proposal to make the DoE a Department of the State.)

EXPLAINED: Hamamoto's DoE resignation: To block Lingle's constitutional amendment?

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UH, faculty to resume talks

In a hand-delivered letter to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood yesterday, the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly said it wanted to return to the bargaining table and asked that Greenwood take part in the talks. The faculty union also asked that the negotiations be monitored by a federal mediator.

ADV Sports: UH athletics projects $2M deficit

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Legislature cuts 5 recess days in 2010

Lawmakers have gradually increased the number of recess days from the constitutionally required five days to up to 14 recess days. This year, the session will begin on Jan. 20 and end on April 29.

"We are shortening the calendar by one week," Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said yesterday during an interview.

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Hawaii Department of Education Procurement Audit, Part II, Details Insider Dealing, Waste and Alleged Corruption

on Dec. 28, 2009, Hamamoto abruptly “retired” nearly two years before her contract expired in October 2011. Her resignation comes in the wake of an audit released earlier this year that clearly details insider dealing, waste and alleged corruption in the Office of School Facilities and Support. See reports:

Part I: http://www.state.hi.us/auditor/Reports/2009/09-03.pdf

Part II: http://www.state.hi.us/auditor/Reports/2009/09-04.pdf

RELATED:

Audit: DoE instructor salaries diverted to "operating expenditure, supplies, and capital items"

DoE Procurement audit: Millions wasted by "fraudulent unethical behavior"

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Hawaii's Compulsory Health-Care System Is No Model

I can give you a personal perspective on Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act (PHCA), since I have been familiar with and opposed to it since before it became law in 1974. When the PHCA was first proposed, I was the economist at Bank of Hawaii; I analyzed the legislation at the time and found that it would have a negative impact on Hawaii’s small-business community and our state’s overall business climate. Over the three and a half decades since then, I have been in a position — as both a legislator and an employer — to witness the PHCA’s effects.

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Hawaii Co. Council rejects resolution to decriminalize pakalolo

HILO -- A Hawaii County Council committee has voted against a resolution seeking to decriminalize marijuana despite a councilman's threat to resign if his measure failed.  Councilman Kelly "GTMO" Greenwell decided Tuesday to stay even though only one other colleague voted for the resolution that failed to gain the support of seven others.   (So he's an Osama-lover, a doper, and a liar--and we just missed an opportunity to be rid of him.)

This is what dope will do to you: Guantanamo Greenwell: "If you voted for me you have to accept my position

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Isle recovery is pondered

35 Hilo businesspeople meet with Rep Dazed Hirono and pretend to write a letter to Obama or God or Santa Claus about how to save the economy from Obama.  These cookie-cutter exercises are being run al over CD2 in an effort to weld civic "leaders" to the Hirono and the one party system.  How utterly pathetic.

Best line: "An agricultural topic which drew a few laughs, as well as heads nodding in approval, was a suggestion to pursue legalization of marijuana."

Dopey.

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Kenoi presents budgetary wish list to state lawmakers 

HILO -- Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday asked state lawmakers for $31.3 million to build Big Island roads, water projects and an expanded hospital emergency room.  (Just keep on spending in the "crisis"--a tax increase will bail you out in your dreams)

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Local Police Escorts for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Cost Hawaii County More Than $21,000

Escorts are required while Pelosi was in the islands this holiday season, but not reimbursed by Pelosi or federal government

RELATED: Pelosi enjoys privacy at Hualalai after Palin is hounded off Maui

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Honolulu City Council Member Dela Cruz Introduces Legislation to Audit the Delay in the Shipping of Solid Waste

Resolution requests the City Auditor to conduct an audit on the delays of shipping of the City solid waste to the Mainland

ADV: Stored Honolulu trash draws complaints of odor, insects

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Snob Bulletin: Fireworks Ban Long Overdue

The objective is to suppress the tradition of ringing in he New Year with an entrepreneurial, optimistic, self-sufficient, and individualistic "Bang!"  Instead we should all cower in our homes, fearful of the air, and begging for government protection.

Related:  Antonio Gramsci Reading List

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Hume's comments on Buddhism, Tiger Woods upset faithful

Fascinating.  Here's something that isn't being talked about:  Bamiyan Again? Taliban attempt to erase Pakistan's Buddhist heritage , Under the Maha Bodhi Tree, thinking of Mecca: Islam's War Against Buddhism

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An Upheaval to Remember: 2010 is shaping up to be a rare year in American politics

With trust in government at perhaps an all-time low, 2010 looks as though it will be an extraordinarily intense and unpredictable political year. In just the last two days, the five-term but scandal-tarred Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut has decided not to run for reelection; so has Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota; so has Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado, another Democrat. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has hinted that he will leave the administration in about six months to run for mayor of Chicago. And the Obama administration’s mishandling of health care and terrorism has introduced uncertainty even in Massachusetts, a state that hasn’t had a Republican in the U.S. Senate since 1972, where state senator Scott Brown is within range of Democrat Martha Coakley in the January 19 special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. If he wins, Brown would represent the decisive vote against the Democrats’ health-care plans.

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LINK>>>Obamacare, COFA, and the upcoming $350M State budget gap: Lingle vs Congressional Delegation


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