The finding, contained within a 162-page report by Mark Wong and Commercial Data Systems for the Honolulu Symphony, contradicts the widespread belief in Hawaii that local residents are especially generous in giving back to the community.
Hawaii residents are more likely to make tax deductible charitable contributions, with roughly 90% doing so, compared to only 70% nationwide. But measured by total deductible dollars giving to charity, only West Virginia ranks lower than Hawaii.
The data do not count time given to charity, which are is not tax deductible, nor will it include small giving, such as purchasing Girl Scout cookies or raffle tickets, that most people don't bother mentioning on their tax returns.
In searching for reasons for this, Wong and CDS studied separate data on household wealth, and found that in Hawaii many seemingly affluent households have a great deal of their wealth tied up in homes or small businesses, so that there is less ready cash for charitable giving than might at first seem to be the case.
They also noted that in other cases an apparent large household income stems from relatives sharing a single residence.
Copyright 2010 by HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.
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