In 2016, lawmakers came up with a law requiring the State Auditor to review exemptions, exclusions, and credits in the general excise, public service company, and insurance premium taxes.
Last week we discussed contact tracers, the people at the Department of Health who are supposed to follow up with COVID-19 positive patients and trace their contacts in order to either find their sources of infection or at least let the people with whom they were in contact know that they have been exposed to the virus.
Two weeks ago in this space, we wrote about a generous genie known as Uncle Sam who is making available $1.25 billion under section 5001 of the CARES Act.
Our Legislature has reconvened and has adjourned for the year.
If you are one of the lucky people who have managed to buy an electric vehicle and get a special plate for it, you probably know that several benefits came with that special plate, including the ability to park at government parking lots (including at the airport!) and street spaces for free, and the ability to jump into carpool lanes even though there is just one person in the car.
This week we’ll look at another general-excise-tax exemption that the State Auditor has put under the microscope in Report No. 20-05. It affects the construction industry, and the price tag the auditor put on it, based on 2018 numbers, was $19 million.
You may remember back in the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, independent businessman and candidate Ross Perot argued, on live TV: “We have got to stop sending jobs overseas.”
Our Legislature will be reopening soon, and some lawmakers are undoubtedly thinking of ways to make our budget balance, because the grim reality is that much of our economic engine has ground to a halt and is no longer spinning out tax revenues.
In an article in this space just a couple of weeks ago, we growled and grumbled about the possibility that our governor, having already suspended laws and chapters in the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes in a listing 17 pages long, would start monkeying with the tax code.