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Tax Word Find
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1118 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

Tax Word Find

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii

The ball has dropped in New York and it is now 2024, and we are waiting for our lawmakers to convene and, among other things, remedy the consequences of some other folks who dropped the ball.

As we did at the beginning of last year, we are taking some of the ideas we have been following and we put them into a Word Find puzzle.

Some of the heat was on the Department of EDUCATION when legislators found out that nearly a half billion dollars of capital improvement projects would LAPSE because the Department wasn’t able to spend the money on time.  Many legislators had inserted PORK PROJECTS, specific improvements within their districts, that they wouldn’t be able to take credit for.  The deputy superintendent in charge of facilities was SHOWN THE DOOR.  The IRONY is that he will be working at the Legislature this session.

The Department of Education, of course, is not the only agency that has had trouble spending appropriated money.  The Department of HAWAIIAN HOME Lands has often faced that problem over the years, and is now in the middle of working with a HISTORIC LEVEL of funding, $600 million, that was appropriated in 2022.  Legislators hoped that the money would make a dent in a DECADES-LONG waitlist for Hawaiian HOMESTEAD lands.

Because the BUDGETARY surplus, once projected to be over $3 billion, has VAPORIZED, some lawmakers undoubtedly will introduce REVENUE RAISER bills to hoist taxes, user fees, or both.  Proponents say that they are necessary to pay for WILDFIRE RELIEF.  Critics would rather the government cut back on spending.

Governor Green introduced and championed legislation last session targeting TAX RELIEF to ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families, which earn more than the federal POVERTY LEVEL but are one emergency away from financial ruin.  His bill was amended beyond recognition in the Legislature but passed.  This year, he plans to reintroduce concepts like INDEXING income tax brackets for inflation. 

The Governor also indicated that he would reintroduce legislation to advance the visitor GREEN FEE, envisioned as a DIRECT levy on tourists.  Lawmakers will have to be careful that the legislation does not violate the U.S. CONSTITUTION because the Privileges and Immunities Clause guarantees the right of FREE travel interstate.

The terms in all capitals in this article can be found in the Word Find 15X15 matrix above.  Words and phrases can be forward, backward, up, down, or diagonal.  And please look carefully at the unused letters, because they contain a message. 

Good luck in the New Year!

---30---

PDF: Tax Word Find Answer Key

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