At the Capitol, We Need Your Voice to Be Heard
Important Tax Conference Committee Hearing at 5:30 today
Today HB1404 isscheduled to have a conference committee hearing at 5:30pm in room 309. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2009/hearingnotices/CONF_05-01-09_FIN1_.HTM
The title is if "Relating to the General Excise Tax." A strong union voice through emails, calls, faxes has been made to all legislators advocating for the legislature to make everyone pay for balancing he budget by raising the GE tax to 5 percent. They are telling them that they don't mind sacrificing by "paying a little more" to balance the budget.
Hawai`i, let your voice be heard by the legislators who are trying to pass this sneaky tax increase without any public input!!! The goal is to stop them today' at the Conference Committee.
THUS FAR THE LEGISLATURE HAS PASSED AN INCREASE ON HOTEL FEES, OUR INCOME TAXES, CONVEYANCE TAXES, TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND NOW OUR GE TAX. CALL YOUR LEGISLATURES NOW AND LET THEM KNOW WE CAN'T AFFORD IT.
Malia Gray is the office manager for House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan
Legislature voting on GET Hike
This is in addition to tax hikes on income tax, hotel room tax, fuel tax, conveyance tax, motor vehicle weight tax, cigarette and tobacco tax, and other fees and charges
by Hawaii Reporter Staff
To protect the jobs and benefits of government workers from the budget shortfall, Hawaii lawmakers are bowing to the pressure of government worker unions, and resurrecting a proposal to increase the state's General Excise Tax.
HB 1404, which was gutted and replaced with new language, emerged this morning with an increase in the state's General Excise Tax in an unspecified amount thought to be between one half and one percent on top of the current 4 percent (4.5 percent on Oahu).
The bill will be voted on in conference committee without the benefit of a public hearing or public input. If agreed to today, the bill will be on the Tuesday agenda for final vote in the House and Senate.
Hawaii is the only state in the union with a General Excise Tax, not a sales tax, which pyramids its rate on all goods and services. If Hawaii shifted to a sales tax, at the current rate, sales tax would be at about 16 percent.
In other tax and budget news:
* The operating executive budget is likely to be agreed to tonight prior to midnight.
* An earlier proposal to allow the counties to impose a new sales tax on top of the GET tax, in response to the state taking the revenues from the counties hotel room tax, was rebuffed by all four county mayors and died in conference committee yesterday.
* The GET tax hike is one of several tax hikes being approved including the income tax, hotel room tax, fuel tax, conveyance tax, motor vehicle weight tax, cigarette and tobacco tax, and other fees and charges.
* It is expected that the counties will also raise property taxes, which are used for law enforcement, general administration, safety and maintenance. County taxes do not fund education as they do in other states.
* Gov. Linda Lingle has said she will veto any new major tax increases, however, Democrats can override her vetoes with a two-thirds vote in both Houses.
The legislative session ends May 8 after a 2-day extension authorized last night.
For more information, or to reach Hawaii lawmakers about these proposals, log onto http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/
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