Influential tax critic dies - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Influential tax critic dies

Posted: Updated:
Lowell Kalapa Lowell Kalapa
  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Study shows instant ramen bad for the heart

    Study shows instant ramen bad for the heart

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:25 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:25:44 GMT
    Instant RamenInstant Ramen
    Its cheap and easy to prepare that's why instant ramen is such a staple for those low on cash and time.More >>
    Its cheap and easy to prepare that's why instant ramen is such a staple for those low on cash and time.More >>
  • Viral Video: Goliath grouper snags 4-foot shark from fisherman's line

    Viral Video: Goliath grouper snags 4-foot shark from fisherman's line

    A fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida thinks he has a pretty nice catch. As he reels in a four-foot shark, his catch is stolen by an even bigger fish. A massive grouper pulls the sharkMore >>
    A massive grouper steals a four-foot shark from a fisherman's line off the coast of Florida.More >>
  • Man dubbed "Manoa Menace" arrested

    Man dubbed "Manoa Menace" arrested

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 07:01:06 GMT
    The man dubbed as the "Manoa menace" has been arrested, but not for harassing his Manoa neighbors.More >>
    The man dubbed as the "Manoa menace" has been arrested, but not for harassing his Manoa neighbors.More >>
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

He never held an elected office but Lowell Kalapa was one of the most influential voices in the state Legislature.

Kalapa, executive director of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii since 1979, died at his home. He was 64.

"There won't be another Lowell Kalapa and that's a shame," said state Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai.

"I think that part of his legacy was saving us from worse tax consequence and even worse decisions."

Senate President Donna Kim said she didn't agree with Kalapa on every tax issue but said she always respected his opinions, which were backed by facts and figures.

"As far as the Legislature is concerned, he always was the second opinion. I saw him as a watchdog," Kim said.

"I always felt we needed more Lowell Kalapas."

Kalapa forged a reputation for independence, skewering the tax increase proposals and big spending policies of Republicans and Democrats alike.

He often expressed concerns about the impacts of higher taxes on the middle class and the poor as well as the business community.

"He cared about the fairness of the tax system for all -- for the little guy on the street and big business," said Michael O'Malley, president of the Tax Foundation's board.

"He thought it should be fair, open, even-handed and not full of shenanigans and loopholes that we've grown accustomed to."

A graduate of Punahou School, Kalapa receive a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

He also served on the boards of several low-income housing companies and social services such as the Self-Help Housing Corp. of Hawaii and Parents and Children Together.

The Tax Foundation's board will meet tomorrow to discuss an interim replacement.

 

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.