Let Families Keep More of What They Earn

Hawaiʻi has the lowest wages in the nation after adjusting for our cost of living, which is the highest in the nation. We also place the 2nd highest tax burden in the country on our low-income households. Our lowest-income households pay over 13% of their income in taxes, while those at he top pay 8% or less. Faced with this one-two-three punch, almost half (48%) of our state’s residents are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

To help our struggling neighbors, we need to come together and restore tax fairness in our state. We can do that by improving the already-existing Food Credit and Renters’ Credit and creating a Working Family Credit, all of which are targeted at low-income and working-class households. This can be paid for by reinstating the tax rates that were in place for our highest-income earners from 2009 to 2015.

Four-Part Plan to Restore Tax Fairness

(HB209 and SB648)

Working Family Credit

Help working families make ends meet by letting them keep more of what they earn

Renters’ Credit

Address high housing costs by adjusting the existing renters credit for 30+ years of inflation

Food Credit

Restore money taken from low-income people’s pockets by the GET by preventing the reduction of this credit

Restoring Revenue

Reinstate tax rates on Hawaii’s highest earners, which were discontinued in 2015 to help restore balance to our tax system

News

If wealthy can get tax breaks, why not low-income earners? Star-Advertiser, February 9, 2017
Like most people, we believe in fairness. And there is nothing fair about the fact that, as a percentage of their income, most of the people in at the upper end of the income ladder pay a smaller percentage of their income in Hawaii taxes than those who live near the bottom.

Tax Credit UrgedHawaii Tribune Herald, February 7, 2017
It is time to support tax fairness and ensure the tax burdens of our state are shared more equitably. There are two bills, SB648/HB209, submitted in the 2017 legislative session that address tax equity.

Working Family Tax Credit Rewards Hard Work for Low Pay Star Advertiser, February 2, 2017
“Most of us take a roof overhead and paid utility bills for granted. For the working poor, these basics are some of the “economic realities that strangle,” to borrow the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Restore Tax Credits For Low-Income Renters Honolulu Civil Beat, December 23 2016
Some of the conditions that make it difficult for families to get by, such as our high food and housing costs, are difficult to control. But our imbalanced tax structure, which taxes people into poverty, is among the conditions we can control.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Half of Hawaii Does Too. Hawaii Public Radio, March 30 2016
A poll conducted by QMark research has found that nearly half of Hawaii’s families are struggling financially, in part due to Hawaii’s high taxes on low-income earners. “Hawai‘i is one of the worst states in the nation in terms of taxing people in poverty. We have a tax system where our lowest income earners are paying taxes at nearly twice the rate of our most well to do citizens.”

Hawaii second-worst state in taxing the poor, study says Pacific Business News, January 14 2015
Hawaii is the second-worst state in terms of taxing its lowest-income residents, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The study, titled “Who Pays: A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All Fifty States,” found that Hawaii households with income in the lowest 20 percent pay 13.4 percent of their income in taxes, while those in the top 1 percent pay 7 percent of their income in taxes.

Thanks to the tremendous support of #HITaxFairness proponents, both inside and outside of the legislature, Hawaii is one step closer to a fairer tax system! Senate Ways and Means passed our priority bill (SB 648) out of committee today, and House Housing Committee passed out a bill to update the Renters' Credit. Thank you!

Keep building on this momentum by signing up for Action Alerts at hitaxfairness.org and suggest this page to your friends.

AF3IRM Hawai'i The CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent HIV/AIDS) Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association Hawaiian Community Assets League Of Women Voters of Hawai‘i Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii Democratic Party of Hawaii Hawaii Children's Action Network Community Alliance on Prisons Sierra Club of Hawai'i YWCA O'ahu PHOCUSED Hawaii LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action - HAPA Center on the Family (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) Progressive Democrats of Hawaii Parents And Children Together
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Thanks to the tremendous support of #HITaxFairness proponents, both inside and outside of the legislature, Hawaii is one step closer to a fairer tax system! Senate Ways and Means passed our priority bill (SB 648) out of committee today, and House Housing Committee passed out a bill to update the Renters Credit. Thank you!

Keep building on this momentum by signing up for Action Alerts at hitaxfairness.org and suggest this page to your friends.

AF3IRM Hawaii The CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent HIV/AIDS) Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association Hawaiian Community Assets League Of Women Voters of Hawai‘i Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii Democratic Party of Hawaii Hawaii Childrens Action Network Community Alliance on Prisons Sierra Club of Hawaii YWCA Oahu PHOCUSED Hawaii LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action - HAPA Center on the Family (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) Progressive Democrats of Hawaii Parents And Children Together

“48% of families are struggling paycheck to paycheck…One of the best ways to deal with it is simply stop taking money out of people’s pockets through a really regressive and oppressive tax system.”

Tax Attorney Roger Epstein and Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice Co-Director Gavin Thornton visit Community Matters with Jay Fidell to talk about #HITaxFairness on ThinkTech Hawaii.

www.youtube.com/embed/japwzFh5oJA?&rel=0Roger Epstein and Gavin Thornton visit Community Matters with Jay Fidell to talk about Tax Fairness and the work being done by the Hawaii Appleseed Center fo...
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We will be speaking about #HITaxFairness on Sunday at 3 pm in Kapiolani Park. Spread the word!

AF3IRM Hawai'i The CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent HIV/AIDS) Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association Hawaiian Community Assets League Of Women Voters of Hawai‘i Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii Democratic Party of Hawaii Hawaii Children's Action Network Community Alliance on Prisons Sierra Club of Hawai'i YWCA O'ahu PHOCUSED Hawaii LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action - HAPA Center on the Family (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) Progressive Democrats of Hawaii Pact Parents and Children Together

Rally for Economic JusticeFeb 12, 3:00pmKapiolani ParkJoin the Young Progressives Demanding Action - Hawaii, as we rally to build support and momentum for legislation and policies advocating for economic justice in our society. From the Fight for $15 to debt-free education; from reforming our tax system to help working class people succeed to a commitment to find actual solutions to address houselessness and poverty; from adequately paying our teachers and investing in our children's future to giving grad students the fundamental workers' right to unionize: now is the time to stand up!

We will gather near the tennis courts in Kapiolani Park (across from the Aquarium) beginning at 3pm. At approx. 3:30pm, our guest speaker lineup will begin, featuring a wide range of leaders in the fight for economic justice in Hawaii who will address many of the most pertinant issues we face in making our society more equitable.

This is a rally designed to build our coalition of support for economic justice measures and to help mobilize our members for future actions and for testifying on relevant bills this session. As such, we will not be inviting the media to attend, but we do ask you all to share this event with your friends, coworkers and family members and to help spread the word.

Energize. Organize. Mobilize.

#JusticeOrBust
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Rally for Economic Justice

Due to Hawaiʻi's regressive excise tax on food and all other necessities, our lowest-income households pay almost twice as much of their income in state and local taxes as those in the top fifth. We have a Food Credit intended to help reduce the heavy tax burden on low- and moderate-income earners. But an inflation update from 2015 is set to expire at the end of the year, and the Food Credit would lose nearly a quarter of its current value. Visit www.hitaxfairness.org and follow Hawaii Tax Fairness to find out why it's vital to keep the credit at the current level, as well as what you can do to help advocate for #HITaxFairness.

AF3IRM Hawai'i Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii The CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent HIV/AIDS) Democratic Party of Hawaii Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action - HAPA Hawaii Children's Action Network Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association Hawaiian Community Assets League Of Women Voters of Hawai‘i Mental Health America of Hawaii Community Alliance on Prisons Office of Hawaiian Affairs Sierra Club of Hawai'i YWCA O'ahu PHOCUSED Hawaii LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i Progressive Democrats of Hawaii
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Resources

Tax Fairness Flier

This flier summarizes the financial burdens placed on low- and moderate-income families in Hawaiʻi and explains Hawaii Tax Fairness’s advocacy priorities for 2017: improving the Food Credit, creating a Working Family Credit, and adjusting the Renters’ Credit by restoring 2015 tax rates for high income-earners.

Tax Fairness Brief

Hawaii Tax Fairness’s 2017 brief outlines a four-part plan to help families keep more of what they earn and restore tax fairness in Hawaiʻi.

Paycheck to Paycheck Study

QMark Research’s 2016 consumer survey reveals that nearly half of Hawaii’s families are living paycheck to paycheck.  Tax credits that let low and moderate income working families keep more of what they earn would provide a measure of relief to many struggling families, a concept which six out of seven survey respondents (86%) supported.