Your Views for February 7
Tax credit urged
Forty-eight percent of Hawaii’s residents are living paycheck to paycheck. This means no saving for college, no retirement accounts and no rainy-day fund for emergencies.
The state of Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country, and taxes on groceries, fuel and the GE tax disproportionately affect low-income working families. The top 2 percent of wage earners spend 8 percent or less of their income on taxes, while low- to moderate-income working families pay more than 13 percent of their income on taxes. Hawaii is ranked second in the nation for the tax burden on low-income families.
It is time to support tax fairness and ensure the tax burdens of our state are shared more equitably. There are two bills, SB648/HB209, submitted in the 2017 legislative session that address tax equity. These will allow working families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit on their federal taxes to get a proportional credit on their Hawaii state taxes.
Roughly 17 percent of Hawaii’s working families will qualify for this tax credit.
An Earned Income Tax Credit will put more money in the pockets of working families to save or reinvest in our local economy without impacting our local employers.
These bills also will update the renters credit, which hasn’t been modified in 30 years, to keep pace with inflation and reinstate the top tax rates that were allowed to sunset in 2015 (for example, joint-filers earning more than $300,000 per year).
If you would like to see Hawaii join the 26 other states with working family tax credits and support tax fairness, call you legislators and encourage them to support SB648 and HB209.
Regarding Richard Bell’s letter of Feb. 2 about keeping the Electoral College, I beg to differ.
As long as we keep the Electoral College and things such as superdelegates, we will never be a democracy. The Electoral College was not founded to keep the East Coast and West Coast from dominating an election (no colonies existed on the West Coast then), but to facilitate getting the results from each state by horseback to a central point. There was no other way then because they had not yet discovered the telegraph.
Regarding his point that we should respect Donald Trump as president: I have always been taught that respect is earned, not given, and if anything, Donald has earned my contempt.
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