Hawaii Government Employees Union Proposes “Temporary” 20% Tax Increase
On Tuesday, March 23, the HGEA plans to march on the state capitol to support a proposed tax increase by the state senate that would temporarily increase the general excise tax from 4 to 5% on neighbor islands or 4.5 to 5.5% on Oahu, a 20% increase in the tax.
As quoted today by the HGEA,
â€œA temporary, modest increase in the General Excise Tax is vital to preserving the quality of life for all Hawaii residents. With 38 percent of the tax being paid by tourists, a GET is the best alternative for both short-term stimulus and long-term financial stability for our state.
Recently, leading local economists have also said that such an increase will help to boost our state economy.
Without passage of a GET increase this session, Governor Lingle will be allowed to address any additional deficit through further cuts to important public services and programs.
The legislators need to hear from YOUâ€”their constituents! We will be organizing a Lobby Day where HGEA members and concerned citizens can visit with their lawmakers to encourage them to do right for Hawaii by supporting a temporary, modest GET increase. â€œ
What tax payer in their right mind would ever believe in a â€œtemporary tax increase”. This is one of the biggest frauds ever promoted to try to throw the balance off the real issue; government spending.
What part of Hawaiiâ€™s economy has suffered most over the past two years? What a great idea, increase the GET 20% so hotel operators have to try to cover the cost with room rates dropping like an avalanche. Just have the few remaining tourists pay more, no problem. How about jacking up the GET 20% on the cost ofÂ a new house? Our flourishing contracting businesses certainly can absorb a few more losses, after all, they donâ€™t have much of a payroll any longer because all of the workers are collecting unemployment, if is hasnâ€™t run out already.
How about doing what businesses have had to do: Cut back, consolidate, reduce inventory, close non-producing assets, layoff all but your best core workers. The DOE is just part of the problem. They have shut down every attempt at change. Why can charter schools in Hawaii offer 200 days of instruction right now in Hawaii? They offer a different model. Why does every county have their own department of transportation to repair and maintain roads? Canâ€™t the state turn over all of these operations to the county. The list goes on forever.
We in the real estate industry have suffered as much or more. Our income is about 50% on average of what it was in 2007. Are we all surviving? Certainly not, only the best, most innovative companies are doing well. Who is getting out the crying towel for us? Not a soul, and we donâ€™t expect anybody to because we work every day on new ways to serve our clients better. Give them better service, deliver the information to them quicker, give them what they want and they will do business with us. If we just sit around and expect customers to walk in the door and buy something just because we have an office in a good location and work for xyz Realty, we will die.
Government will never understand how business works and how can we expect government to run like a business. We elect politicians because we like how they look, the pretty words they tell us, or because the union told us to vote for them. We get what we set ourselves up for: politicians who will do what it takes to get re-elected.
This is a great year to â€œJust say NO!” Donâ€™t you love the crystal meth ads on TV right now. Just this once! Just this one time, temporary 20% tax hike and life will be just great. Letâ€™s tell our legislators, loud and clear, No Tax Increases! You increase taxes and we will un-elect you!