During any legislative session, our Department of Taxation furnishes a very important service to our legislators. It provides revenue estimates on various bills going through the legislative process. Sometimes it includes in its public testimony the end result—the bill will result in the State gaining $x million per year, for example—but it doesn’t disclose how it got to that number.
A local tax attorney asked for the Department’s revenue estimates on a particular bill, including the underlying assumptions, source data and documents, and computations it uses to create those estimates. After the Department refused to turn them over, he went to the state’s Office of Information Practices, or OIP. In May, OIP issued Formal Opinion F19-05, ruling against the Department and ordering the revenue estimate materials turned over.
The Department of Taxation appealed the case to First Circuit Court, calling OIP’s decision “palpably erroneous.” The Department lost.
Here are some documents filed in the case.
- Department of Taxation Complaint re Special Proceeding (filed June 19, 2019)
- Office of Information Practices Answer to Complaint (filed July 8, 2019)
- Transmittal of Certified Record on Appeal (filed July 12, 2019)
- Tax Foundation of Hawaii’s Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief (filed July 19, 2019)
- Department of Taxation’s Opposition to Amicus (filed July 24, 2019)
- Ray Kamikawa’s Answer to Complaint (filed July 26, 2019)
- Reply Memorandum In Support of Motion For Leave To File Amicus (filed July 29, 2019))
- Office of Information Practices Statement of No Position as to TFH’s Motion (filed July 29, 2019)
- ORDER Granting Motion for Leave to File Amicus (filed Sep. 3, 2019)
- Tax Foundation of Hawaii’s Amicus Memo (filed Sep. 3, 2019)
- Department of Taxation’s Opening Brief (filed Sep. 30, 2019)
- Ray Kamikawa’s Answering Brief (filed Oct. 4, 2019)
- Civil Beat Law Center’s Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief (filed Oct. 8, 2019)
- Department of Taxation’s Reply Brief (filed Oct. 14, 2019)
- ORDER Affirming Office of Information Practices Decision and Ordering Compliance Therewith (filed Nov. 19, 2019)
- FINAL JUDGMENT (filed Dec. 20, 2019)
- NOTICE of Entry of Judgment (filed Dec. 20, 2019)