As President Obama prepares to roll out another tax increase proposal targeting capital gains and dividends, it’s instructive to look at what happened the last time he did that. Fortunately, the IRS just released...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie Calls for Alcohol Tax Increase, S...
Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie Calls for Alcohol Tax Increase, Soda Tax, Tax on Pensions
Seven weeks into his tenure, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) proposed tax changes in his State of the State Address. Citing a projected fiscal deficit of $844 million, Abercrombie recommended repealing the state tax deduction for state taxes paid and extending the income tax to include pension income (although ensuring "that those who are most dependent on their pensions will not be taxed").
In part due to the end of temporary federal stimulus aid, Abercrombie urged legislators to consider cutbacks in welfare spending like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicare Part B for retired state workers. On the tax side, the governor proposed increasing the alcohol tax by 50 percent, raising about $20 million a year, and establishing a soda tax that would generate $50 million a year.
His plan would also raise "impact fees" on time-share properties to equalize the current hotel room tax, an increase of 2 percentage points to 9.25 percent. He would also shift funds from the Hawaii Tourism Authority towards environmental protection, improvements to public facilities, and advancing Hawaiian culture and the arts. The sales tax ("general excise tax" in Hawaii) would remain where it is, a key campaign pledge.
Hawaii is tied for the highest top state income tax rate and also instituted a series of tax increases on alcohol, real estate, and on the hotel industry two years ago.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has come out in favor of the program:
Further tax changes include repealing the deduction for paying state taxes, which he rightly characterizes as an "absurdity." And retiree pension plans should be taxed the same as other income, he said, underscoring that the more financially strapped retirees will be exempted.
Subscribe to the Tax Foundation Newsletter
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.