State of Hawaii Archives: on Tax Reform

David Ige: State must operate within its means instead of raising taxes

We must take care of business first. As Governor, I will submit a balanced budget to the Legislature. As the Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee for the past four years I crafted a balanced budget in each of those years. During that time I reduced the current Governor's spending proposals by a total of $1 billion. That is why the State now enjoys an $800 million surplus.

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.

Source: 2014 Hawaii gubernatorial campaign website Aug 9, 2014

Neil Abercrombie: Add alcohol & soft drink tax; repeal state tax deduction

I am proposing 2 fixes to the tax code that will increase revenues to the state. One is a repeal of the state tax deduction for state taxes--an absurdity in the tax code, the elimination of which is long overdue. This change will affect all taxpayers who itemize, so we will phase in implementation for middle-income earners to lessen the immediate effect.

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

Source: 2011 Hawaii State of the State Address Jan 24, 2011

Duke Aiona: Shift taxes from low-income families to higher-income

Aiona adds, "A fair, broad-based, and transparent tax system, coupled with fiscally responsible policies, will enable government to provide services more efficiently and within its means. For example, we need to take a deeper look at certain activities that have received special tax exemptions. We also need to ensure that those who owe taxes pay their fair share via vigorous enforcement and follow-up."
Source: Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Daniel Akaka: The Bush tax cuts helped the richest, not those in need

Q: Do you favor making the tax cuts permanent?

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.

Source: 2006 HI Senate Debate on PBS Hawaii Aug 31, 2006

Ed Case: Bush tax cuts unaffordable; targeted middle-class cuts ok

Q: Do you favor making the tax cuts permanent?

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.

Source: 2006 HI Senate Debate on PBS Hawaii Aug 31, 2006

Brian Schatz: No state flat tax; increase sin tax & decrease sales tax

Source: Hawaii Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Hawaii Politicians: Archives.
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018