THE TAX MAN: Counties, you’re TAT collectors now

Most of us have heard about House Bill 862, the bill that cut off the counties’ share of Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) but allowed the counties to impose their own TAT. This bill became law by legislative override of Governor Ige’s veto.

THE TAX MAN: Have we unwittingly put the brakes on HART?

Lately, the news about HART, the body governing Honolulu’s largest ever public works project, has been focused on one of the nine voting members. That member‘s term is coming to an end, and the news is focusing on Mayor Rick Blangiardi‘s choice to replace him.

THE TAX MAN: Lawmakers need to be aware of the time tax

This week, we reflect on a piece in “The Atlantic” that argues quite persuasively that your government not only taxes people by taking their money, but also imposes administrative burdens that waste countless precious hours of people’s time.

TAX MAN: Shoring up water transportation

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued the “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” There wasn’t much media coverage of it outside of the business press, because the order is lengthy and, rather than announcing new law, for the most part focuses on telling his agencies to enforce the laws that are already on the books relating to specific industries.

TAX MAN: Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

Here in Hawaii, people like me often complain about lack of transparency, government overreach, and similar issues. But think about it. Does our government overreach? Yes. Why does it do that? Because we let them.

TAX MAN: Gov. Ige’s intent to veto

On June 21, Gov. David Ige released a lengthy list of bills he intended to veto. The Hawaii Constitution requires him to issue that list and provides that any bills not on the list will become law, with the Governor’s signature or otherwise.

TAX MAN: Secret tax relief on Maui

In a recent article, we spoke of a decision by the government of Maui to broaden the class of properties classified as short-term rental (which happens to be the class of properties with the second highest property tax rate, even edging out hotels and resorts, beaten only by timeshares). We noted that the decision happened at light speed, and we wondered why.

Get ready for the showdown of the juggernauts

There is a huge fight looming on the horizon. I’m not just talking about Curtis “The Bull” Iaukea and Lord “Tally Ho” Blears versus Handsome Johnny Barend and the unforgettable Ripper Collins in “50th State Big Time Wresting” at the Civic Auditorium.

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.