Archive for April, 2009

Democrats shifting burden to families By Rep. Lynn Finnegan

April 27, 2009

head-shot-8x10(Honolulu Advertiser April 26, 2009)

It is a sad day when Democrat lawmakers shift the burden of closing a projected $2 billion revenue gap in our state budget to Hawai’i’s families and businesses. Yet, in voting to increase taxes, this is exactly what they’ve done.

At a time when a staggering number of residents are out of work and many businesses are shutting down or on the verge of doing so, legislators have essentially said to the people of Hawai’i, “Sorry, but we need more money.”

In contrast, Gov. Linda Lingle has laid out a responsible and fair plan to close the budget gap without tax increases or layoffs. Unfortunately, most Democrat legislators chose to ignore her common-sense approach.

The most troubling tax increase involves the hotel room tax, which they voted to increase by 2 percentage points over two years, to 9.25 percent. This would equate to more than $90 million over the next two years in new tax revenues! This is $90 million not going to restaurants, clothing stores, cultural shows or other businesses.

Don’t be fooled by those in the majority party’s leadership who say this won’t dissuade visitors from coming to our Islands. For a seven-night stay at $175 a night, one couple would have to pay a transient accommodations tax (TAT) of $113 — almost the cost of another night’s stay. Vacationing families and corporate conference planners will take the tax increase into account in deciding where to travel and spend their money.

Implementing this TAT increase would have a destructive effect on Hawai’i’s primary industry. And it would be simply a job killer.

This tax will also impact the many Hawai’i families who are choosing to vacation here at home to help our ailing economy. They, too, will be assessed this 28 percent tax increase when they stay at a local hotel while attending a wedding, a class reunion or enjoying time visiting family and friends on another island.

In addition, school sports and robotics teams and other student clubs that travel to other islands to compete will also be penalized with this increased room tax when they stay in a hotel.

Rep. Gene Ward Ph.D. Town Hall Meeting on Sharks Part 1

April 27, 2009

Part 1Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Gene Ward Ph.D. on Shark Feeding and Tours Randy Honebrink , Director of Aquatic resources, with DLNR and Mr. Michal Tosatto, Deputy Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fishery Service addresses the fact it is against the law both on the state and federal level to feed sharks up to 300 miles from shore.  Co-sponsor: Hawaii Kai Boat Club, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Ka Iwi Coalition, Malama Maunalua, Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood.

Rep. Gene Ward Town Hall Meeting on Sharks Part 2

April 27, 2009

Part 2 Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Gene Ward Ph.D. on Shark Feeding and Tours Randy Honebrink , Director of Aquatic resources, with DLNR and Mr. Michal Tosatto, Deputy Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fishery Service addresses the fact it is against the law both on the state and federal level to feed sharks up to 300 miles from shore. Hawaii Kai Boat Club, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Ka Iwi Coalition, Malama Maunalua, Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood.

Representatives Gene Ward and Kymberly Pine Speak in Opposition to Raising Taxes

April 23, 2009
Representatives Gene Ward and Kymberly Pine Speak in Opposition to Raising Taxes on the chamber floor in the House of Representatives. Transient Accommodations Tax rate; Excess revenue.  A Capitol TV Excert. 

Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Gene Ward Ph.D. on Shark Feeding and Tours

April 22, 2009

Part 3 Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Gene Ward Ph.D. on Shark Feeding and Tours Randy Honebrink , Director of Aquatic resources, with DLNR and Mr. Michal Tosatto, Deputy Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fishery Service addresses the fact it is against the law both on the state and federal level to feed sharks up to 300 miles from shore.  Hawaii Kai Boat Club, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Ka Iwi Coalition, Malama Maunalua, Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood.

Representative Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB1461

April 22, 2009
Part 1 Representative Cynthia Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB1461 Thielen on the chamber floor in the House of Representatives. Excerpt from Capitol TV April 14, 2009

Representative Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB1461 Part 2

April 22, 2009
Part 2 Representative Cynthia Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB1461.  Relating to taxation. ( general Excixe Tax; Earlier Monthly Filing)  Excert from Capitol TV

Representative Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB 1008

April 22, 2009
Representative Cynthia Thielen Speaks in Opposition to SB 1008 on the chamber floor in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Excerpt from Capitol TV April 14, 2009.
Water Quality.

GOP Lawmakers Oppose Anti-Business

April 21, 2009

finnegan-and-pineBy HFC Staff Danny De Gracia II State House Representatives Lynn Finnegan and Kymberly Pine were among
lawmakers who voiced their concerns over what they say are overly-excessive
tax hikes and anti-business legislation that will hurt, rather than help, the state’s
economy.
The handful of House Republicans disagreed with the sentiments of the majority
Democrats who say that the bills will impact higher-income households only.
“This is simply not true,” says Rep. Finnegan, minority floor leader. “The
proposed tax increases will hurt anyone who has a car in their garage or puts gas
in their tank. It will hurt anyone who orders a book on the internet or visits family
interisland. In short, it hurts everyone.”
Included among the potentially detrimental tax increase bills are Senate Bill 1611
and House Bill 1271, which add a 10 cent tax to liquid fuel and an increase of the
tax on barrels of petroleum sold by distributors, respectively. In addition to higher
vehicle registration fees already included in Senate Bill 1611, Republicans say
these increases place a tremendous burden on Hawaii motorists.
Similarly, Senate Bills 1678 and 1111 discourage any potential increases in
spending that could stimulate the economy by taxing all goods purchased over
the internet or through mail-order catalogues, in addition to any spending on
airfare, hotels, etc.
“Raising the transient accommodations tax will directly oppose efforts to stimulate
our State’s biggest source of income,” says Rep. Gene Ward. “Our tourism
industry is scrambling for visitors who stay longer and spend more money in local
businesses. Yet, as hotels lower their rates, we raise taxes to make up the
difference.”
Joe Pandolfe, organizer of the Honolulu Tax Day Tea Party, says that raising the
transient accommodations tax could put hotel employees out of work since it
would hurt hotels and their ability to compete with other tourist destinations,
especially during a bad economy.
“Legislators are clearly not living in the world that we are and do not understand
how much the people of Hawaii are suffering,” he says.
Hawaii-Filipino Chronicle — Headline: GOP Lawmakers — April 18, 2009

REP CHING AT HPU INTERCULTURAL DAY PART 1

April 21, 2009

Part I Representative Corinne Ching at HPU Intercultural Day