A State Of Stagnancy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

September 14, 2009

A State Of Stagnancy

John Fink John Fink

Here's a shocker.  Hawaii state tax revenues came in lower than projected in July and August.  This means the start of yet another rough fiscal year, perhaps rougher than originally predicted just two months ago.  Some prognosticators are suggesting that the economy will start picking up by mid-2010, but those are merely guesses at this point in time.  Until consumer confidence increases, mainland banks show more stability, and the job market picks up, don't expect to see major gains locally in tourism, home sales, or construction numbers.

Add to that the now weekly suggestion that something needs to be resolved sooner rather than later between the State and numerous public unions, and you can see that we really aren't out of the woods, nor can we ever see the clearing on a number of fronts.  A binding labor decision made by an arbitrator is perhaps three months away if nothing gets resolved before then, and in the meantime, the tax numbers stay weak and the expense crunch continues to put the State further into a hole.

The appearance both publicly and behind closed doors is that trust, respect, and a willingness to get this fiscal crisis resolved quickly between all parties involved is simply not a priority, and thus you have a stagnant quagmire with weekly diversions and barbed accusations, combined with bad tax collection numbers.  And we all know what happens with quagmires- they stink.  Think about it...

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