Federal disaster loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Friday it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Hawaii small businesses and nonprofit organizations starting to feel a substantial economic pinch from the coronavirus outbreak.

Panda and poke: Restaurant trademarks can stir legal fights

GILBERT, Ariz.— When picking a name for their Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant in suburban Phoenix, Paul and Nicole Fan settled on “Panda Libre,” hoping the mix of China’s iconic bear and the Spanish word for “free” would signal to customers the type of cuisine it offered.

Just a technical change

Some of the bills making their way through our Legislature are sponsored by executive departments. One such department, the Department of Taxation, is behind a few of them. One of them worth mentioning, introduced as Senate Bill 2922 and HB 2366, proposes to change some criminal penalties in our Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) law to civil fines … and “to make various technical amendments,” as the bill summary states.

Proposed state improvement surcharge

In the past few legislative sessions, there always had been one or two proposals to raise taxes in a big way. Some of them got pretty far along the road to becoming law, and some of them actually became law. You might recall that in 2017, Act 107 permanently reinstated the “temporary” 9%, 10%, and 11% income tax brackets that we thought we got rid of in 2016. In 2018, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the State to surcharge the counties’ real property tax made it to the general election ballot, only to be voided by the Hawaii Supreme Court in the eleventh-hour. In 2019, Act 3 hoisted the top rate of our estate tax to 20%, tying Washington state for the highest estate tax rate in the country.

Hawaiian Electric charitable donations top $1M in 2019

In 2019, Hawaiian Electric gave more than $1.02 million in corporate grants, contributions and sponsorships to nonprofit organizations across Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County. Of the total, more than $175,000 supported the advancement of STEM education, curriculum, and initiatives.

Do you buy fuel? Then be very afraid!

We have occasionally written about a “carbon tax,” something environmentalists appear to be supporting enthusiastically. The basic idea behind one is that a tax is placed upon the purchase of all fuels that result in carbon emissions when the fuel is burned to release energy. The amount of the tax is based on the type of fuel and is priced to be a certain dollar amount per metric ton of carbon emitted into our atmosphere.