New administration’s tax priorities

In a recent interview with Hawaii News Now, Gov.-elect Josh Green outlined the top priorities he has for his first 100 days in office, presumably including the start of this year’s legislative session.

Want to fight corruption? Follow the money

In a recent op-ed in Civil Beat, Robert Harris, who recently became the executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, mused about his role in the grand scheme of things. His first reaction was to describe his job as just enforcing the State Ethics Code and the Lobbying Law, but then saw a broader role for his agency as helping to restore public trust in government.

Tom Yamachika: Getting permitting out of home maintenance

This week we continue to focus on the City and County of Honolulu, where efforts are under way to deal with the highly backlogged state of affairs at our Department of Planning and Permitting. As we’ve previously reported, a 2020 City audit (Report No. 20-01) (Exhibit 4.3) found that a typical residential building permit application took 108 days to process, while one for a commercial project ($1 – $10 million) took 432 days. That is a very long time to be just waiting for a permit.

Tom Yamachika: The empty homes tax

One of the ideas that has been kicking around in the state and county legislatures for a couple of years now is the idea of an “empty homes tax.” The idea seems to be gaining steam now since our federal court has struck down Honolulu’s recent ordinance clamping down on transient vacation rentals.

Buy an EV now or later? The tax credit rules are about to change

DETROIT — Consumers who can find an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid that qualifies for the $7,500 tax credit now may want to snap it up before the end of the year, experts say, while others wanting to purchase EVs that aren’t eligible might be better off waiting until 2023.