LIHU‘E — Last week, the state Department of Taxation withdrew its proposal to reorganize and reduce staff at the Kaua‘i DOT office.
The reduction-in-force would have laid off seven of 11 Kaua‘i office employees, eliminate the Office Audit Section and Field Audit Section and downsize the Collection Section and Tax Services & Clerical Section. Office and field audits were slated to be completed remotely from O‘ahu.
The restructure was proposed to balance the state’s budget for the biennium. In a letter announcing the reduction, the state said the Kaua‘i office has a history of complaints and failures to complete assessments.
The Hawai‘i Government Employee Association, which represents unionized members, refuted those claims, and stated the cuts would negatively affect on-island and in-person services.
“HGEA fought back in the consultation process, disputing the state’s reasoning for the cuts, calling them unjustified, unfair and not based on a fair and objective assessment of operations,” HGEA said in a message to members.
“The state’s withdrawal of the planned cuts is great news and a win for both the Kaua‘i DOTAX employees and the community that they serve.”