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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Audit Needed: Hawaii Consumers Pay $400M for Recycling
By News Release @ 3:27 PM :: 7433 Views :: Environment, Ethics, Taxes

Aloha from No Hawaii Beverage Tax!    July 25, 2012

We hope everyone is having a great summer. We’ve been meeting great people throughout the state who are joining the effort to tell the government: stay out of our grocery carts!

Last week, the Department of Health announced a half-cent increase in the deposit beverage container fee, which funds the HI-5 recycling program. Hawaii’s retailers have come out against the fee hike, saying that the clunky ½ cent increase is going to lead to higher prices for merchants and consumers.
Carol Pregill, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, explains the increase this way: “there is no half-cent currency! The small retailer will have to “eat” the half-cent on every single unit he sells. In this mandated business model, the more the retailer sells, the more money he loses.”

Adding insult to injury, the state has collected about
$400 million through the seven-year-old program, despite the fact that the Auditor’s Office has only released one public audit since 2005—and state law mandates an audit every two years. That’s a lot of money with no public accountability! The half-cent increase goes into effect September 1.

We’ve also been busy adding new members to No Hawaii Beverage Tax. We had a great time at the Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality & Foodservice Expo earlier this month, and we’ll be in Kauai later this week signing up new members.

As July comes to a close, we continue to work to make sure our lawmakers get the message loud and clear: People are working hard to make ends meet and we don’t need the government telling us what to eat and drink. No Hawaii Beverage Tax!

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