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ThinkTech Hawaii: A GET Exemption for Food and Medicine (Talking Tax)

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Figuring Out who Benefits. The hosts for this show are Jay Fidell and Tom Yamachika.

There has been a lot of talk these days about possibly adding a General Excise Tax (GET) exemption for food and medicine. The three Democratic candidates for governor all support it, as Hawaii News Now reported. The argument that most people make is that the GET, which applies to most purchases of things including food, is regressive. Thus, it falls more heavily on those less able to make ends meet.

But, as Director of Taxation Isaac Choy pointed out, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the tax burden falls more heavily on the poor because of existing exemptions and tax credits. He reasons that these new proposed exemptions would primarily benefit wealthier folks and tourists.

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