Vote ‘no’ on proposed constitutional amendment

Our legislators are at it again! Trying to tax away more of the public’s money when it is already an extremely expensive place to live. Property taxation has, up until now, been the exclusive funding method of the counties.

The question on the ballot Nov. 6 is, “Shall the Legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?”

Surcharge? This is a new tax!

Notice that it does not say they will increase the Department of Education budget by the amount of revenue generated. As we have seen in the past, the revenue from the new tax offsets general fund monies, allowing the Legislature to spend a like amount that is not used to fund DOE. So without a provision that these new tax revenues will increase the DOE budget by the amount raised, this is just another tax increase being sold using questionable propaganda.

Originally, this proposal only taxed (surcharged) property over $1 million in value and visitor accommodations to provide a “quality education for all of Hawaii’s children.” It also had very specific definitions of “residential investment property” and “visitor accommodations.” All of that language has been removed from the final proposed amendment that we will vote on. So now the tax will apply to all investment property, including rental houses and apartments (think rent increases), grocery stores and office buildings. Even the AFL-CIO opposes this amendment!

Vote “no” on the constitutional amendment on Nov. 6.

Tim Means