Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Bill to Raise GET 25% by grassroothawaii
April 5, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , ,

by Frances Nuar

Imagine this scenario: you go to the grocery store and pick up food for your family for the next week. You wait patiently in line behind the gentleman counting his change and the young mother with the screaming children. You can’t wait to grind on your spam musubi, eying it with hungry eyes as it moves far too slowly up the conveyor belt. The cashier rings up your order and sweetly asks if you’d like to pay cash or credit for your $100 order. All of the sudden lights flash and the computer screen goes blank. A big red X has been drawn over your $100 total, and replaced with a glaring $125. The cashier looks at you sheepishly, knowing you both witnessed a $100 total only moments before. It’s too late to go back. You must pay up.

This fantastical story is currently unfolding right before our eyes at the Hawaii legislature. Despite numerous campaign promises from Governor Abercrombie to utilize existing resources as opposed to raising taxes, the insidious General Excise Tax stands to jump from 4% to 5%–a full 25% increase. (And you thought this was a story about spam musubis!)

House Bill 793 proposes to suspend tax exemptions until 2015 as well as increase the GE tax by 1 percent until 2013 (have you ever known our dear Hawaii legislators to vote out a tax they have voted in? Didn’t think so.) Raising the tax will be devastating to Hawaii’s economic recovery as reported by Lowell Kalapa of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

Urgent action is needed now to prevent this aggressive tax hike. The Senate Ways and Means committee will be holding a hearing on HB 793 tomorrow, Wednesday April 6 at 9:30am in the state capitol auditorium. You can submit testimony against the bill through the Capitol website, call your legislator, or show up in person. Whatever you do, do something. The future of our state is at risk.


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