Aloha Chamber members,

On the General Election ballot, voters will be asked to vote on an important Constitutional Amendment that reads:

“Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to support public education?”

The Chamber strongly opposes this NEW tax on real property and encourages you to vote NO for the following reasons:

       • Will raise the cost of living for everyone.
       • Will increase the cost of doing business.
       • Will impact affordable housing and increase rent.
       • Will increase taxes on ALL properties including
          residential, commercial and agricultural.
       • Furthermore, the taxes do not guarantee the
         monies will go to public education and teachers,
         essentially allowing a blank check to the Legislature.

We wholeheartedly support public education. However, this amendment will have far-reaching implications that will impact everyone. An argument that proponents have mentioned is:

       • New tax amendment applies only to $1 million
         and up residential investments by foreign investors. 
         Not true. 

                o FACT: The amendment clearly does not
                   specify what amount and what type, leaving it
                   broad for the Legislature to have the authority
                   to levy a tax in any amount on any type of
                   investment real property. 

Also, the new tax does not guarantee additional funds will be available for the schools. The legislature can always reduce and redirect the current DOE budget due to monies raised from the property taxes. 

Rather than approve a new tax on real property and pass an amendment that will impact everyone, we encourage the following first:

       • Audit the Department of Education. Current DOE
         financial reporting lacks transparency so we don’t
         know how much money goes to the schools and how
         it’s spent. Are there inefficiencies? Can some of the
         monies get redirected to other programs?
         Hawaii is 15th in the nation in per pupil spending.
         How is the money for students being spent?
         It’s critical to know how the $2 billion budget is
         spent before we create a new tax.

       • Use existing laws to raise revenues for the
         department, such as Act 155, 210 and 245.
         
Again, the Chamber and the business community isn’t against public education. In fact, the business community has and continues to provide resources through multiple means to support schools, teachers and students. What we are against is a law that will create a new tax that will increase the cost of living for everyone.   

Vote NO on new taxes.


Chamber Con Am Media Coverage

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018