Local Connection: Tax Law Changes

Last week dozens of Hawaii taxpayers stood in line to pay their property tax bills early.

They will save a few bucks because this year, under the new tax law, there's a $10,000 limit on how much you can deduct in state and local taxes.

In Hawaii, that will impact only higher income families with high-value homes. That's because Hawaii property taxes are lower than states where property taxes pay for schools.

The new law is also a concern for Hawaii's real estate and development industries, along with charitable organizations because tax incentives that benefited those sectors have been reduced.

It would be unfortunate if those dire predictions come true. The fact of the matter is most people and businesses will end up paying lower federal taxes at least for the immediate future.

Hawaii could benefit overall from an economic stimulus, especially if it means local businesses have more capital to invest in expansion or innovation.

Let's hope that's the story that finally emerges from this debate.

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