Governor-elect pledges not to raise taxes

Governor-elect pledges not to raise taxes

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor-elect David Ige pledged Thursday not to raise taxes, just two days after winning the race for governor.

In a live interview on Hawaii News Now's Sunrise program, Ige said, "I'm committed to not raising taxes. I believe that we, the state has to live within its means. And people have asked me and I have told them. I really believe that we don't do a great job of collecting taxes already owed and that would be one of the things that will be a priority."

Ige has to begin putting together a cabinet of 41 directors and deputies before he's sworn in less than a month from now on Dec. 1.

"We are not looking at who they supported in the election. It's about finding the best leaders we can to move our state forward," Ige said.

Salaries for state department directors are lower than the private sector in many cases.

The attorney general and the budget director get the highest pay at $143,028, meaning top lawyers and financial executives would have to take a pay cut to join the governor's cabinet.

Directors of 13 other state departments, such as health, public safety, tax and transportation, have salaries of $136,212.

"You know the salaries aren't the greatest for the responsibilities. So it's about recruiting people who are committed to public service," Ige said.

Ige spent most of Thursday meeting with advisers at his Moilili campaign headquarters, working on his transition plan, according to Lynn Kenton, his campaign spokeswoman.

The campaign plans to set up a website for people to apply for jobs in Ige's administration shortly, Kenton said.

Ige plans his first news conference as governor-elect Friday morning.

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