Tax Brake - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

April 21, 2008

Tax Brake

The state House and Senate have agreed to provide a tax rebate again this year for low-income and moderate-income taxpayers. But before you get ready for a night out on the town, be aware that this year the rebate will be a credit, and it will be just one dollar. Yes, that's right- one dollar. Since the state Constitution requires a tax refund or credit if revenues are greater than the general fund balance for two consecutive years, some form of rebate is mandatory. But $1?

The current shaky economic situation has precluded the legislature from agreeing on a rebate like last year- when $70 to $160 was paid out to many. Obviously, one dollar is not meaningful tax relief, and one can only hope that the bureaucrats will use the estimated $36-million in non-refunds that aren't being disbursed this year in a meaningful way, whatever that means, in the world of governing.

Maybe you can take your dollar and go buy a couple of  apples, since an apple a day keeps the doctor away; and maybe those apples can help you forestall ever-rising medical costs. Of course, make sure you carefully and completely wash your apple first, or you may end up at the doctor anyway. Frankly- the ambiguous allowance wording in the state Constitution makes this credit mandatory, but it does seem kind of silly, doesn't it? How about fixing or at least revisiting the state Constitution for this and many other reasons? Now that's a taxing idea whose time has come. Think about it...  

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