Blank the amount, defect the date

If you’re following bills as they move through our legislature, there are a couple of practices that we need you to know about. Often, committee chairs will refer to one or both of these practices when they move bills forward.

Beware of state nuances with tax software

Well, we’re in the thick of tax season! It’s that time of year when individuals, gritting and gnashing their teeth, scour through their financial records and begin the arduous process of completing their 2018 federal and state tax returns.

Creativity abounds at our Legislature, part 2

This week, we are continuing our coverage of creative tax-related bills at our Legislature. The Hawaii State Tax Watch Doggie is taking a nap at the moment, so I’ll continue without him.

DOE’s repair backlog tripled from last year

In a budget briefing at the Legislature at about this time last year, state Department of Education officials reported that their backlog of repair and maintenance jobs was $293 million, and they were patting themselves on the back because it was a significant drop from the $392 million reported in 2010.

Zero-based budgeting can help state

Last week, we spent some time on “variance reports,” which is how our state government agencies report differences in position count and spending from one year to the next. The agencies are also supposed to report on performance measures that they pick themselves, but sometimes still disregard this requirement.