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Friday, March 24, 2017
March 24, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:26 PM :: 4257 Views

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Ratifies Independent Audit

On Sister Isles Working Class Whites Dying of Despair

Being Hypnotized by HART?

Double Food Production? Failed Central Planning Thrives in Hawaii

Assisted Suicide Loses in Hawaii

Hawaii Missile Defense Now

HB209 and SB648 -- Two Income Tax Hikes on the Move

CB: House Bill 209 and Senate Bill 648, sailed through their respective chambers. The House version was even co-sponsored by Rep. Sylvia Luke, the influential leader of the House Finance Committee. Sen. Jill Tokuda held a hearing for HB 209 on Wednesday, although she’s not planning to make a decision on the bill until Tuesday. It’s the only hurdle the bill has to pass before moving to the full Senate….

HB 209 (and SB648) would reinstate higher income taxes for people earning more than $150,000 per year.

Right now, the state taxes anyone earning more than $48,000 each year $3,214, plus 8.25 percent of any amount earned above $48,000.

HB 209 would tax individuals earning more than $150,000 at higher rates. For example, individuals earning more than $200,000 would pay $16,379 plus 11 percent of any amount above $200,000.

Myoung Oh, lobbyist for the Hawaii Association of Realtors, said in testimony that when the rates were previously in effect, Hawaii had the “second highest personal income tax system in the nation.”

“HAR believes that with the recession over and economy rebounding, it is prudent to keep the income tax rate to its pre-recession levels,” he wrote.

“Higher individual tax rates create a drag on the economy primarily because most businesses operate in sole proprietorship, partnership, or S corporation form and are thus subject to the individual income tax rates,” the Tax Foundation of Hawaii testified, adding that it would be better to adjust income tax rates rather than provide tax credits. “Hawaii is already famous for having heavy taxes and a hostile business climate, and this measure would perpetuate this conception.”

The Chamber of Commerce testified that raising taxes on higher-income earners would make it harder for small business owners to reinvest in their companies.

“Business owners already face many restrictions and regulations and this bill is just another challenge for small business owners in Hawaii to survive,” the organization said….

Tax Cuts for the Poor –Without a Tax Hike: HB932 HD1 and HB670 HD1

Background: 16 Tax Hike Bills—and Three Tax Cuts--on the Move in the Legislature

read … Tax Cut Needed

Two Versions: Legal or Illegal TVRs to Be Taxed?

AP: State Senate committees on tourism and public safety on Wednesday passed legislation giving hosting platforms like Airbnb the option to pay hotel taxes on behalf of short-term rental operators.

The bill says platforms that do so would have to ensure operators comply with state and county land use laws. It says platforms would have to ensure operators provide written verification of their compliance. The bill next goes to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The House tourism committee on Tuesday passed legislation that also would also allow platforms to pay taxes on behalf of short-term rental operators. It doesn't require platforms to verify operator compliance with land use laws. This bill next goes to the House finance committee.

NR: End the Bans on Short-Stay Home Rentals

read … Legal or Illegal?

HSTA Operative: Stalled Contract Talks Are Prompting Whispers Of A Strike

CB: The current teacher contract negotiations invoke memories of 2001, the last time teachers went on strike….

read … Stalled Contract Talks Are Prompting Whispers Of A Strike

78-year-old business could shut down due to problems from homeless encampment

KITV: A 78-year-old business could shut down due to problems after a homeless encampment moved into the neighborhood.

A yellow line on the sidewalk at Kaumuali'i Street and Waiakamilo Road, separates where people walk and where people live. 

"We've been in this area for over 30 years and we've never had these kind of problems until this encampment started popping up," said Neal Arakaki, owner of Menehune Mac. 

The homeless encampment is just outside of Menehune Mac's factory in Kalihi.

"It's gotten to the point where, we feel unsafe," said Arakaki. 

Arakaki said along with homelessness comes a spike in crime, his business has suffered thousands of dollars in losses due to vandalism. He said business at his store is down by 60%.

"We need some regulation out here," said Arakaki.

He supports expanding the sit-lie ban to Kalihi and Iwilei….

With less customers coming through the doors for chocolate, cookies, and other island treats, Arakaki said the encampment is costing his family their livelihood.

"This is one problem that may force us to close our business and this is not an exaggeration," said Arakaki. 

The sit-lie ban passed its second reading at the Honolulu City Council meeting. The bill will go back to a committee before a third and final reading.

KHON: Manahan says he introduced a sit-lie bill for that area when a fatal stabbing happened on Iwilei Road back in January.

read … 78-year-old business could shut down due to problems from homeless encampment

Soft on Crime: Multiple Felon Gets Parole—Violates and Escapes in Beemer

HNN: …Authorities tried to arrest Gouveia Tuesday morning after a routine check in with his parole officer. Authorities were set to arrest Gouveia for violating parole conditions, but as authorities arrived, he fled the building and rode off in a waiting car.

Gouveia has multiple felony convictions -- including robbery, attempted assault, weapons and drug charges.

He was last seen going eastbound on Ala Moana Boulevard in a Black BMW (crime pays!) with the license plate: RGX 502….

read … Arrest warrant issued for parole violator with lengthy rap sheet

Unwanted Fukumoto to be Rejected by Democrats?

CSM: …But in a profoundly ethnically diverse state that turned deep blue during the Obama years, Hawaiian Democrats are wary of Republicans seeking to join their ranks.

That might mean her past votes against same-sex marriage bills, for instance – which she says reflected the will of her constituents rather than her own beliefs – could force her to make a go of it as an independent, rather than a Democrat….

read … Unwanted

Fukumoto: This is the Peak of My Political Career

TO: …from District 36. Out of the 477 who wrote, called, or emailed, 123 said she should leave, 220 said they didn’t care, 111 said she should stay, and 19 said she should stay but they would still support her if she switched. In other words, 75 percent of her constituents were okay with her leaving.

Fukumoto’s acceptance by the Democrats isn’t certain. She must request membership and answer for her socially conservative record, which includes voting no on same-sex marriage in 2013. She will also be transitioning from a prominent position in a small caucus to a rank-and-file position in a very crowded one. She had been planning to run for higher office as a Republican, but as a Democrat, she will have to line up behind more senior members. “This could be the peak of my political career,” she said….

read … Downhill

Travel Ban: Muslims Laughed out of Court

AP: …The ruling today by U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga is at odds with rulings from federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland who have issued orders preventing the bulk of the executive order from taking effect.

Trenga had questioned at a hearing this week whether the injunction sought by the civil-rights group is necessary, given the orders already in place from the Hawaii and Maryland judges.

But his 32-page decision goes far beyond that technical question, giving a major victory to the Trump administration and its authority to issue the order, which would temporarily ban immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and suspend the U.S. refugee program.

The legal issue, Trenga wrote, is not to determine whether the executive order “is wise, necessary, under- or over-inclusive, or even fair.”

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, said his job is simply to determine whether the order “falls within the bounds of the President’s statutory authority or whether the President has exercised that authority in violation of constitutional restraints.”

At this stage of the lawsuit, Trenga concluded, the plaintiffs have not demonstrated a likelihood to succeed on the merits.  (Translation: We are laughing at you Muslims.)

A lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which brought the Virginia case on behalf of multiple clients, said he will appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. That court is already scheduled to hear the government’s appeal from the Maryland case on May 8….

AP: Thinking he was going to Paradise, London attacker was cheerful, joking on eve of rampage

read … No Islamic Law Today

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