Hawai’i Republicans have been pushing for the elimination of the regressive 4 percent general excise tax on food, medical services and residential rent. Our local delegates took this issue to the national convention.
The Democrats have chosen to ignore the public’s need to remove these taxes, improperly claiming there would be lost revenues to the state coffers.
Hawai’i Democratic Party chairman Walter Heen claims that a tax cut proposed by Republicans will necessitate another source of revenue to fund state services.
However, at the end of this past legislative session, Democrat leaders were quick to claim a turn-around in our economy and a general fund surplus which they rapidly sought ways to spend. This clearly illustrates the leaders of the majority party’s propensity to cry both rich and poor for political convenience.
In truth, the Republican proposal to eliminate the regressive general excise tax on food, medical services, and residential rent will help those who need it the most — the poor and elderly. It is these groups of our population who spend the greater percentage of their income on food, medical services and rent. The money saved by elimination of these taxes will ultimately return to our economy, therefore benefitting all residents of our island state. It is better to give immediate tax relief by eliminating these enormous taxes rather than waiting to grant tax credits at the end of the year.
This is the stand that Republicans have taken for years and one that Democrats have purposely chosen to disregard.
WHITNEY T. ANDERSON State Senate Minority Leader