SB 2379 HD 1

SUBJECT:  ADMINISTRATION, Powers of Special Enforcement Section

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2379 HD 1

INTRODUCED BY: House Committee on Economic Development

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Authorizes the Special Enforcement Section of the Department of Taxation to examine any sector of Hawaii’s economy, initiate civil investigations, and refer and recommend cases or examinations of segments of the economy to the auditors within the Department for auditing.

We see no need for this bill because the Department can already do these things and the Special Enforcement Section is part of the Department.  The bill, rather, appears to be an artifice to pad the Department’s budget through the Tax Administration Special Fund.  Although other departments do that as well, this move lessens the transparency of the budgeting process and should be approached with great caution. Continue reading SB 2379 HD 1

SB 2378 HD 2

SUBJECT:  APPEALS, Change Taxation Board of Review to Three Paid Members

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2378 HD 2

INTRODUCED BY: House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Adjusts membership of the State Taxation Board of Review to three paid, full-time members, and sets a two-member quorum. Establishes compensation schedule for board members. Authorizes board members to validate board actions by a majority of the members who heard the appeal. Clarifies that board meetings are contested case hearings and provides notice requirements. Clarifies the legal and evidentiary framework the board may use in reaching its decisions. It seems a bit early to be changing the system yet again, after a bill to consolidate the district boards of review into a statewide one was enacted only last year. Continue reading SB 2378 HD 2

SB 2752 HD 2

SUBJECT:  INCOME, Tax Credit for Filling and Sealing Abandoned Wells

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2752 HD 2

INTRODUCED BY: House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Establishes an income tax credit for taxpayers who are required to seal abandoned wells on their real property. Clarifies the definition of the term “abandoned well”. Requires sellers of real property to disclose the existence of wells on the property. Requires an owner or prior owner of an abandoned well to seal the well at the owner’s or prior owner’s expense. Appropriates funds for three full-time equivalent (3.0 FTE) positions under the Commission on Water Resource Management.  Our view is that the same goals can be accomplished in a more efficient manner by appropriating some money to the commission and allowing it to give grants to those who need it to comply with the law. Continue reading SB 2752 HD 2

SB 2837 HD 1

SUBJECT:  INCOME, Check-off for Spay and Neuter Special Fund

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2837 HD 1

INTRODUCED BY: House Committee on Agriculture

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Establishes a spay and neuter special fund and allows funds from an income tax check-off to be deposited into the special fund. Requires the department of land and natural resources, in collaboration with animal welfare groups and organizations, to conduct a point-in-time count of feral cats per main island by 6/30/23. Requires DLNR to submit a report to the legislature on the point-in-time count prior to the regular session of 2024. Continue reading SB 2837 HD 1

SB 2150 HD 1

SUBJECT:  MISCELLANEOUS, Authorize DHS to Provide Housing Assistance Subsidies to TANF or TAONF Participants

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2150 HD 1

INTRODUCED BY: House Committees on Housing and Health, Human Services & Homelessness.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Authorizes the Department of Human Services to provide housing assistance subsidies of up to $500 per month to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families participants who are participating in the First-To-Work program.

Our view is that we have been leaving too much TANF/TAONF money on the table and need to put that money to good use here. Continue reading SB 2150 HD 1

HB 137, SD 1

SUBJECT:  LIQUOR, Withdraw Powers of County Liquor Inspectors to Enforce Tax Laws

BILL NUMBER:  HB 137, SD 1

INTRODUCED BY:  House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Provides that violations of liquor tax law shall be referred to the director of taxation for investigation. Repeals the general right of inspection without a warrant for potential violations of liquor tax law. Repeals the discretionary power of the liquor commission to deny a license to any person the commission finds is not fit and proper to hold a license. Requires applications for liquor licenses to be notarized. Provides the administrator of the liquor commission discretion over whether to refer applications for investigation. Repeals the requirement that investigative reports to the liquor commission include any and all matters that are relevant to the application or license in the judgment of the investigator. Continue reading HB 137, SD 1

HB 1982 SD 1

SUBJECT:  INCOME, GENERAL EXCISE, ADMINISTRATION, Withholding of Tax by Persons Claiming Film Credit

BILL NUMBER:  HB 1982 SD 1

INTRODUCED BY: Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Requires every person making payment to a loan-out company and claiming the film tax credit to withhold payments to loan-out companies. Removes the requirement for productions to submit a verification review by a qualified certified public accountant using procedures prescribed by the Department of Business, Economic Development, And Tourism (DBEDT) when applying for the film tax credit. Requires the report by DBEDT to include the dollar amount claimed, name of the company, and name of the qualified production of the taxpayer. Extends the period during which excess income tax credits may be claimed to 12/31/2032. Requires qualified taxpayers to withhold a certain amount and remit that amount. Amends the use of the tax administration special fund. Authorizes the Department of Taxation to establish four full-time equivalent tax auditor positions. Continue reading HB 1982 SD 1

HB 1828 SD 1

SUBJECT:  APPEALS, Change Taxation Board of Review to Three Paid Members

BILL NUMBER:  HB 1828 SD 1

INTRODUCED BY: Senate Committee on Judiciary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   Beginning 1/1/2023, amends the membership, composition, compensation, and duties of the taxation board of review. Amends quorum requirements. Authorizes members of the taxation board of review to validate the board’s actions with a concurrence of the majority of members who heard the appeal. Specifies that board meetings are contested case hearings with certain notice requirements. Clarifies the legal and evidentiary framework for the board to use when making decisions. Appropriates funds to the department of taxation to establish staff positions. It seems a bit early to be changing the system yet again, after a bill to consolidate the district boards of review into a statewide one was enacted only last year. Continue reading HB 1828 SD 1