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Sunday, April 3, 2022
April 3, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:34 PM :: 2299 Views

Maui Council unanimously approves resolution seeking Jones Act waiver -- Hawaii County Next?

SB514: $100 Taxpayer Refund is Still Possible

Honolulu job growth outpacing new housing supply 32-1

A Tax Game-Changer for Nonprofits

The Fix is In: Unions Select Green-Luke as Your Next Governor, LG

SA: … Lt. Gov. Josh Green has attracted the major political endorsement so far in the three-way race for the Democratic Party primary election for governor, adding to Green’s already dominant approval ratings and fundraising haul.

Green has been endorsed by the Hawaii Government Employees Association, Hawaii’s largest public workers union with nearly 37,000 members; and by unions representing teachers, firefighters, electrical workers, brick layers, and plumbers and pipefitters. In addition, he has attracted financial support from health care organizations and individual doctors.

The union representing carpenters has yet to make a gubernatorial endorsement….

(Skip multiple paragraphs peddling the idea that this is not a wrap.  Don’t notice that the examples cited from previous election cycles involve situations where the unions were not united behind a single candidate and/or where the public sector unions went one way and the private sector unions went another.)

In the crowded five-way race for lieutenant governor, House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke (D, Punchbowl-­Pauoa-Nuuanu), has been endorsed by HGEA, HSTA, University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, Masons Local 630 and Plumbers &Fitters UA Local 675.

“She has all of the big ones,” Moore said….

In a statement to the Star-Advertiser, former Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that he was “disappointed” in his lack of endorsements so far in the governor’s race…. (LOL!)

read … Election is Over Now

Hawaii County Council to consider 10 cent gas tax reduction

HTH: … A County Council panel is poised to consider a resolution aimed at taking some of the sting out of rising gas prices.

The council Finance Committee is scheduled Tuesday to take up Resolution 363, lopping 10 cents per gallon off the current 23 cents per gallon county tax.

Hawaii County’s average retail price for regular unleaded gas topped $5.35 a gallon on Thursday and the statewide average was $5.197, the highest recorded, according to the AAA gas prices website. Gas prices began rising after Russian invaded Ukraine in February.

“I’m listening to people say they have to choose between going to the grocery store and going to work,” Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder, the sponsor of the resolution, said Thursday. “As a small business owner, as Finance Committee chair, our responsibility as a taxing body is to lower taxes when we can for our residents.”

Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder said the county has money from other sources to cover the shortfall. Property values have increased by about 13%, adding $45.4 million to the record high $689.9 million proposed budget Mayor Mitch Roth unveiled last month.

A recovering tourism economy is contributing to a general excise tax surcharge account of $50 million, a $12.5 million, or 33.3% increase over this year.

“The state has a has a surplus $1 billion. … We’ve seen an increase in property values,” Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder said. “This is one of the things we can do to make the cost of living more affordable for our residents.”

The gas tax was 8.8 cents a gallon until 2017, when the County Council voted to raise it incrementally to its current 23 cents, the highest rate in the state…

UPDATE: The council Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 3-5 to send Resolution 363 to the County Council with a positive recommendation, meaning the measure will still proceed to a public hearing April 19 before being heard by the council April 20.

read … Council to consider 10 cent gas tax reduction: Decrease on Tuesday Finance Committee agenda

SB3334: Still Time to Kill Stadium Boondoggle

SA Editorial: …  Will Senate Bill 3334 remove impediments to the so-called New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, a retail-residential mix, encompassing 98 acres of state land? Or would it actually keep the project from moving ahead?

Senate Bill 3334, as unanimously approved by senators, aims to give the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency primarily regulating development in Kakaako and Kalaeloa, sole jurisdiction over stadium lands….

The answer depends on proposed changes to the legislation that appear to be gaining favor with lawmakers driving the discussion. A key goal would be to revise and improve how the state controls the project — but delaying those revisions until developers and state planners have had a chance to gain a foothold in advancing the actual work….

There have been delays and complications, owing in part to concern over some legal language in the enabling legislation.

A request for proposals has yet to be issued, either for the stadium or the surrounding development. Earlier this session, state Sen. Glenn Wakai, a proponent of the stadium redevelopment, said the new role for HCDA would help to more efficiently advance the project.

However, the developers who have shown interest in bidding on the projects are not so sure. At hearings before House and Senate committees on March 18, Craig Nakamoto, HCDA interim executive director, said there is some anxiety about adding another layer of bureaucracy to these large and expensive projects. Overhauling the management structure on the verge of bids being brought adds to the uncertainty.

Nakamoto was joined in the testimony by Ryan Andrews, acting manager of Aloha Stadium, and Curt Otaguro, who directs DAGS as state comptroller. They agreed to the proposed changes but urged lawmakers to postpone it until July 2025….

Every cynic (body) in the state knows there are lots of ways this can (will) go wrong….

read … Get control of stadium project by Killing SB3334

Maunakea bill scheduled for final committee

HTH: … This amended draft will be discussed at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday. This is the final committee the bill must face in the Legislature.

Should it pass, it will face final reading in the Senate and will likely go to conference committees, where legislators from both chambers will discuss the revisions made to the bill (write the real bill or simply let this bill die) ….

BACKGROUND:

read … Maunakea bill scheduled for final committee

I stopped accepting invitations to lecture college classes after it became trendy to boycott, picket and demand apologies from speakers

Shapiro: … I stopped accepting invitations to lecture college classes after it became trendy to boycott, picket and demand apologies from speakers whose contrary views might “trigger” delicate young minds with ideas that threaten their “safe space.” ….

read … Humor becomes its own punch line in our slap-happy times

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