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Sunday, April 30, 2023
Grassroot Institute Week in Review
By Grassroot Institute @ 8:40 PM :: 2363 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Jones Act, Taxes

from Grassroot Institute, April 29, 2023

Testimony 

The time for submitting testimony to the 2023 state Legislature has ended, so the only testimony submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii this week was for consideration on Wednesday by the Maui County Council. The topic was a resolution about the Council's proposed property tax rates for fiscal 2024, which starts July 1. 

Maui County RESOLUTION No. 23-129: A good start but Maui Council could do more to reduce property taxes

If you would like to speak out about this issue too, go here to contact members of the Maui County Council.

Quick hits …

>> Grassroot Institute Policy Director Malia Hill was quoted in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article on Monday about how the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is "contending with a state budget that could zero out its funding or drastically reduce it," as well as "two bills at the Legislature that could repeal the agency." Hill said "both bills on this issue are premature, as both try to force a solution on an ongoing and unsettled debate about the future of tourism in our state."

She added: “Ideally, government will get out of the tourism business altogether and state funds would no longer be used to promote visitor arrivals, which as we all know have become a sore point in Hawaii anyway. In the meantime, however, we hope that legislators will look at these bills and realize that they create more questions than answers.”

>> The Center Square, a Chicago-based newswire service with "a taxpayer sensibility," published two articles this week based on information produced by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. One was "Red Hill closure reignites debate over Jones Act," about Hawaii U.S. Rep. Ed Case calling for a Jones Act exemption to facilitate the defueling of the U.S. Navy's underground fuel tanks at Oahu's Red Hill. The other was "Report addresses Hawaii's rising property values," about the Institute's new report on how Hawaii county officials can provide property tax relief to offset the state's increased property assessments. 

>> In its April 20 edition, Lahaina News republished Institute President Keli‘i Akina's April 8 "President's Corner" column, titled "Counties must prioritize property tax relief." In the same edition, a letter to the editor cited Akina's Feb. 26 "Priced out of paradise" column, which had been republished by Lahaina News on March 9.

>> On Sunday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published an excellent "Island Voices" commentary by Scott Greenwood, executive director of ACLU Hawaii, titled "Proclamations set dangerous precedent."   Echoing concerns expressed repeatedly by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Greenwood said Gov. Josh Green's use of the state's emergency powers to tackle issues such as homelessness "raises serious separation-of-powers concerns. … Normalizing this continued practice sets a dangerous precedent for executive abuse in other contexts in the future."

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