We have occasionally written about a “carbon tax,” something environmentalists appear to be supporting enthusiastically. The basic idea behind one is that a tax is placed upon the purchase of all fuels that result in carbon emissions when the fuel is burned to release energy. The amount of the tax is based on the type of fuel and is priced to be a certain dollar amount per metric ton of carbon emitted into our atmosphere.
This year’s Legislature has produced some unique proposed solutions to deal with our housing crisis.
Two years ago, we as voters were inundated with impassioned arguments on both sides of a proposed constitutional amendment (“ConAm” for short). The amendment would have given the State the power to impose a surcharge on real property tax, ostensibly to fund teacher pay raises.
Following a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 (South Dakota v. Wayfair), many States, including ours, enacted “economic nexus” legislation, which means that we consider any business that transacts $100,000 or more in Hawaii sales or 200 or more Hawaii transactions to be subject to Hawaii tax laws, and we require such a business to comply with the law by registering and paying tax.
Happy New Year! It’s now 2020 and talk already has begun about raising our minimum wage. $10.10 an hour is not a living wage, some say, so we should be hoisting our minimum wage to say $15 or $17, which some say is the minimum required to make ends meet here in Hawaii assuming you are working 40 hours a week.
A recent, eagerly awaited independent financial review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has been in the news lately. The review, conducted by the California-based accounting firm CliftonLarsenAllen (“CLA”), made several observations and recommendations, including the flagging of 32 transactions, representing $7.8 million, as potentially fraudulent, wasteful, or abusive.
A recent op-ed column in Real Clear Politics by Scott Hodge, president of the national Tax Foundation (not related to the Tax Foundation of Hawaii although the names are similar) brought up some interesting ideas, spurred by the announced plans of Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to enact a tax on wealth.
Hawaii is an island state that is home to a unique set of flora and fauna.
Once upon a time, there was a big bank called Bank of America. It wanted to try doing business in Hawaii, since it was already in many of the other western states, so it reached a deal to buy Honolulu Federal (do you remember HonFed?) and took over all of their branches in Hawaii. This was in 1992.
The cost of having four walls and a roof over your head in Honolulu has been staggeringly expensive relative to the rest of the nation for a while now. The median price of a single-family home on Oahu in July reached $835,000, while the median price of a condominium rose to $460,000, according to a report from Honolulu real estate firm Locations Hawaii.