Last week as part of our Priced Out Of Paradise series on Hawaii News Now, we featured the dilemma of Waikiki resident Bob Roast. He's a retiree living on little more than the 15-thousand dollars he gets from social security.
As you can imagine, he barely gets by, foregoing purchases of things he'd like to have, because he can barely afford what he needs. With our cost of living, Hawaii is ranked the 6th worst state in the nation for retirees.
We could just throw up our hands and say that's the price of paradise, but our government makes the situation even worse for our Kupuna. With taxes that cut into their already meager incomes.
The IRS starts taxing retirement income at just 15-thousand dollars a year for single people like Bob. For him, that's three thousand dollars less income. On top of that, Hawaii's excise tax is charged on food, medicine and rent.
Current tax relief for seniors and the poor is not nearly enough. If our lawmakers decide to reduce taxes for anyone, it should be for low-income senior citizens. They have earned their retirement and shouldn't have taxes eating it up.