Friday, March 1, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, May 25, 2017
HB209: Tax credit to help poor really helps politicians
By Grassroot Institute @ 2:45 AM :: 6801 Views :: Tax Credits, Taxes

Tax credit to help poor really helps politicians

by Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute, May 25, 2017

This year, Hawaii lawmakers crowed about their success in passing a Robin Hood-style tax credit, which was supposed to raise taxes on the rich and give refunds to the poor. But in reality, state lawmakers mostly would just be raising taxes on the rich and giving it to themselves.

House Bill 209, which is awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature, would provide tax credits on low-income earners, while raising taxes from 8.25 percent up to 11 percent on Hawaii residents making more than $300,000 annually. This would rank as the highest income tax in the nation, behind California.

The benefits of this proposed tax hike on the rich are intended to the poor. However, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, based in Washington D.C., wrote that Hawaii lawmakers watered down the original measure so much that the result could be a net tax increase of $13 million, as well as providing much less money for the people it was intended to help.

Second, the credit would only kick in only after all of Hawaii’s existing refundable credits had been applied.

Finally, if approved by Gov. Ige, the credit will expire after 2022.

Without the promised benefits, Hawaii taxpayers would be left with just a massive tax hike on the rich — a 33 percent increase — which could send isles job creators fleeing to other states, taking their jobs with them and ultimately hurting the people the tax credit was supposed to help.

In this sense, the “Robin Hood” tax seems more like it was devised by the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took money from the rich and kept it for himself. In the story, it was Robin Hood who returned the money from the government to the people.

If lawmakers want to help the poor with this particular tax proposal, they should encourage Gov. Ige to veto HB 209, then in the next session submit a new measure that would make the proposed tax credit refundable, to provide $49 million in tax credits and refunds to low-income Hawaii residents.

On the other hand, the state Tax Department has testified that a refundable tax credit poses problems, because some taxpayers might improperly claim it. According to the department, more than 22 percent of earned-income tax credit refunds nationally are improperly claimed, and this likely would be the case in Hawaii as well.

So why complicate things? Why not just simply lower taxes across the board, thus helping all Hawaii taxpayers? This would encourage job creators to stay in the state, and enable more Hawaii families to keep their hard earned dollars.


HB209: Text, Status


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii