Laws going into effect Thursday will hit Hawaii in the wallet - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Laws going into effect Thursday will hit Hawaii in the wallet

Sam Slom Sam Slom
Dan Boylan Dan Boylan

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New laws and more taxes, on Thursday morning, we'll all be waking up to a long list of tax hikes on water, cigarettes, and gas, and higher property bills. Even that staycation you were planning to save money will cost you more.

July 1 is the start of the new fiscal year. 60 bills will kick in, and that's just on the state level.

Living in Hawaii will get a little more expensive. Your water bill will go up $1.75 more a month in Maui County. As for your sewer bill, in Honolulu, it's going up more than $10 a month.

If you own a home on Oahu but don't live in it, expect a property tax rate hike, though your actual bill may be lower due to a decline in property values.

Do you take the bus? Both Maui County and Honolulu are raising fares.

And that's not even counting new state laws, which include a big boost in the oil tax, from $.05 to $1.05 per barrel. For drivers, that means a few cents more per gallon.

"The barrel tax is probably the worst tax we've had in many years because it's going to affect people immediately in terms of the gasoline prices that they pay, immediately on electricity prices they pay, immediately on food prices and anything that's delivered, or anything that moves from place to place," said Republican Senator Sam Slom of Smart Business Hawaii.

Slom says more than a dozen new state laws will increase the cost of living. The rich will pitch in more with a 1% tax hike on trust funds. On the federal level, the Estate Tax is on hiatus, but not for long.

"If you're going to die, you might as well die this year because next year the death tax is coming back and it'll hit you then in the grave," said Slom.

Getting to an early grave will cost you more too as cigarettes will go up an extra $.40 a pack. And the price of your staycation is going up, with a one point rise in the hotel room tax to 9.25%.

So what happened to Governor Lingle's pledge to not raise taxes?

"She had an option. That was to veto them. She doesn't want to veto them because she has to balance the budget. And without those taxes, the budget would be in much worse shape than it is at the moment," said Dan Boylan, political analyst.

Boylan says Hawaii actually pays some of the lowest taxes in the nation, and some are healthy. That hotel tax goes towards public safety, and part of the barrel tax will go toward alternative energy.

"It's sort of inconsistent and a little illogical to say all taxes are bad. Well, then let's close the schools, and stop paving the streets and not take out the garbage," said Boylan.

The price of paradise may be going up. You can decide for yourself if it's still a good deal.

For a complete list of all the state bills that take effect tomorrow, click on the link on this page of our web site.

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