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Groundhog Day in the Hawaii Senate

You may remember “Groundhog Day,” the 1993 film starring Bill Murray. In it, Murray played a Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, found himself caught in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

By the way, could we have $50 million more?

Our Legislature is now in session, and one of the big functions of the money committees — the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Finance — is to balance the state budget.

A penny for education

One of the bills making its way through our legislative system this session is one that would create a special fund for public education, and then funnel to that fund 25 percent of all the money that our General Excise Tax brings in.

Trump tax in Hawaii?

One of the more visible tax issues that our lawmakers will be thinking about this session is how to adapt the new federal tax law changes, sometimes called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and what we have been calling Trump Tax, to Hawaii.

The value of a refundable credit

In the 2017 legislative session, our Legislature passed an earned income tax credit (EITC) law, which its supporters maintain is the best solution to lift families out of poverty since sliced bread.

How much does a crosswalk cost?

Most of us are very familiar with crosswalks and traffic signals. We pass a few of them every day. We might get stopped by a red light from one of them.

Oops! Math error!

The National Taxpayer Advocate recently produced a “Purple Book” containing her top 50 recommendations for the IRS. One of them concerned “math error authority,” which brought to mind one of the failings in Hawaii’s tax system.

TrumpTax, Part 2

One of the new, key components of Trump Tax is a provision important to the vast majority of small businesses. Practitioners may know it as the Section 199A deduction. Under Trump Tax, corporations that used to see a maximum tax rate of 35 percent got that rate slashed to 21 percent.

Taxpayers, be sure to pay attention

As we nervously await the opening of the 2018 Legislature, we wonder how our state will approach tax conformity now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or “Trump Tax,” is now law.