The tax office said so, so it must be true!

HB 2432, one of the bills actively being considered this session, proposes to hike the “transient occupancy tax,” or TOT, by an as-yet-unspecified amount. This part of the bill is noteworthy for the factual support behind it.

Mighty Morphin Power Bills!

In last week’s article, I said we should look forward to lots of surprises as lawmakers press forward with our legislative session with techniques such as “Gut and Replace” to give our legislative bills content that doesn’t at all resemble what they previously looked like. Here are some that we have seen so far:

The California stupidity fund

One of the changes made in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which applies to our federal tax returns for this year, is a limitation on deductions for state and local taxes. Simply put, you can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes.

An opportunity for opportunity zones

Whatever you may think of President Trump and the Republican-dominated Congress, they have thrown an opportunity our way, and you need to take action very soon — by March 21, 2018, to be exact — to take advantage of it.

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.