Just three months ago, the Hawaii State Auditor released the latest in a series of reports over the years on the Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container Program, known as HI-5. That report, No. 19-08, basically said, Look. Weve issued four audit reports on the program, every two years beginning with 2013. In each of the reports, we rely on the distributors and redemption centers to be honest and police themselves. There is no verification or enforcement. You might think people are honest, but in three out of the four reports we found discrepancies, meaning either that distributors paid the fee on fewer bottles than they distributed, or redemption centers asked for and received more money from the state than they were entitled to.
KALOKO MAUKA A few weeks ago while my Dad was visiting the island, we had the opportunity to take a private tour of the Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary at the invitation of the owner, Norman Bezona, and his partner Voltaire. It was a serendipitous thing, actually. My dad loves animals so I took him by the Kona Humane Society for a quick fix. Inside, we ran into Voltaire, feral cat trap in hand, who insisted we come up for a visit. Im so happy we did.
HONOLULU The economic impact to Hawaii of Waikiki Beach was recently estimated at $2.2 billion a year, but the crumbling Royal Hawaiian groin and other man-made structures are all that is keeping the states most visited beach from being swept away.
The Hawaii State Tax Watch Doggies son has come home from school, and today he has a few more questions than usual.
At the Legislature, I often hear legislators considering proposed tax legislation ask our Department of Taxation (DOTAX) how much money a certain proposal would bring in (if its a revenue raiser) or cost (if its a tax credit or exemption).
A long time ago, in October 2015 to be more precise, the Tax Foundation of Hawaii sued the state. Why? Because at the time, the state was skimming 10 cents off every dollar that was being collected for rail, and plopped the money into the states general fund, where it was spent on everything but rail.