A government of (suspended) laws, not men

John Adams, later to become the second President of the United States, enshrined the concept of “a government of laws, not of men,” in the Massachusetts state constitution of 1780. Those words were supposed to convey a fundamental idea: Government should be based on clearly written laws, and not on the unpredictable will of one or even a few people.

General Excise Exemptions to be shut off for two years?

House Bill 58, the “Frankenbill” that we wrote about before, has cleared the Legislature and is on the Governor’s desk waiting to become law. It suspends some General Excise Tax (GET) exemptions in calendar years 2022 to 2023. In this article we’ll explain some of them and who is likely to be affected.

Counties, the TAT is now your problem too!

For many years, the counties and the state have been bickering about how much support from the state’s transient accommodations tax (TAT) they should get to help fund county infrastructure.

YAMACHIKA: State Auditor facing a whack job

The House Speaker’s office recently released an unflattering report on the State Auditor. It faulted the Auditor’s Office for appointing executives without proper experience and said the move contributed to “delays and untimely reports,” and other actions that were “not in complete compliance” with the provisions of the Hawai’i Constitution governing that office.

Beware the return of the Frankenbill!

Most of us have heard of “Frankenstein,” a novel written in 1818 by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The story’s protagonist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, created a creature by assembling bits and pieces from cadavers and then bringing it to life using some unexplained method. (Mad scientists have to have their trade secrets!)

More creative thought needed at our Legislature

This week, we continue coverage of our legislature by highlighting some of the more unusual or remarkable tax bills being considered. We focus on bills that not only have been introduced, but that have gotten a hearing before a legislative committee and are actively moving toward enactment.

Don’t try to read state legislators’ minds

In the beginning of February each year, the Japanese celebrate the Setsubun festival. The festivities typically include roasted beans. Family members throw them out the door, or start pelting one of their own members who is dressed up like a demon, to represent driving out the bad luck and welcoming in the good luck.

Here is the grim reality of unemployment taxes

In this space, we have been doing a lot of guessing on possible legislative proposals. We will find out for sure what they are on or before January 25, the date of Governor Ige’s State of the State address.