I also rejected the current Governor's proposal to tax retirees' pensions. I refused to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. In addition, I rejected his proposals to tax soda and plastic bags, as well as his attempts to raise the Transient Accommodations Tax by an additional 2%. This would have raised the cost of a Hawai'i vacation for tourists, making Hawai'i less competitive among visitor destinations throughout the world. My philosophy in budgeting is that the State must operate within its means instead of raising taxes. I will not propose new programs when our state budget lacks the resources to pay for them.
The other fix is to implement the recommendation of the Tax Review Commission to treat pension income like all other income for tax purposes, as is done when preparing federal taxes. My proposal includes a provision so those who are most dependent on their pensions will not be taxed.
I am proposing what is an overdue increase in the alcohol tax and will also propose a fee on soda & similar drinks. We can no longer ignore the fact that consumption of these & other such products contribute to rising public health costs. Revenues from these fees will be used to repair the public health infrastructure and also to fund prevention and education programs
A: We cannot make tax cuts permanent. Already this year itís projected that we will have a deficit of $600 billion. And this will be passed on. We have to borrow money from China and now Japan as well. The Bush administration took us from a surplus to a multi-trillion dollar federal deficit, and government should be taking care of those in need help the most and not take care of the richest.
A: I voted against that initiative. It was unaffordable, especially as we had already intervened in Iraq, and one could see that was going to be far more expensive than anybody projected. I had voted against some tax cut extensions, especially those for the very upper income families, because I donít think itís fair, or necessary. But I have voted for some extensions that I think have very targeted purposes and are targeted for the middle class.
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