What is the Tax Review Commission and why should you care?
Article VII, section 3 of the Hawaii Constitution provides for it:
There shall be a tax review commission, which shall be appointed as provided by law on or before July 1, 1980, and every five years thereafter. The commission shall submit to the legislature an evaluation of the State’s tax structure, recommend revenue and tax policy and then dissolve.
The law that our Legislature adopted to implement this constitutional provision is chapter 232E of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.
A Commission is supposed to be formed once every five years, but it hasn’t always worked out that way in practice. The various Commissions over the years have made recommendations to the Legislature, which has adopted some and ignored some. Here is a list of the recommendations and related legislative action. Past TRC Recommendations and Adoptions – Updated 2017
Past Commission reports, including appendices and consultant studies, can be found by following these links.
- Tax Review Commission 2010-2012
- Tax Review Commission 2010-2012 – Supplements
- Tax Review Commission 2005-2007
- Tax Review Commission 2003 and prior
The current proceedings of the Commission are recorded at this page from the Department of Taxation’s website. The Commission is considering making recommendations to address “revenue adequacy,” which is another way of asking what new and unusual taxes can be cooked up to burden the public even more.
- One of the consultants the Commission has hired has made several recommendations, including encouraging the State to be the first in the nation to adopt a carbon tax.
- The Tax Foundation’s testimony responding to the report is here.