Papaikou resident Heather Kimball and her husband are successful business owners who support Hawai‘i Tax Fairness and the adoption of a Working Family Credit, patterned off the federal Earned Income Tax Credit Heather received years ago. She supports the idea of high earners like her and her husband paying a little more to ease the disproportionate tax burdens on struggling families in Hawai‘i, to provide them with a genuine chance to succeed and to build a strong local community.
Heather and her husband founded an architecture firm that employs eight people on Hawai‘i island. Additionally, Heather has a master’s in conservation biology from UH Hilo and runs her own environmental consulting business.
Heather volunteers as a paddling coach, and has served with numerous organizations in her community, including the Sierra Club, the Kamehameha Canoe Club Board, UH Hilo Graduate Council, and many others.
Heather and her husband have four daughters. The youngest two are still at home and in school. The oldest two are out on their own, with one studying to be a theoretical mathematician and the other working for Microsoft.
The Earned Income Tax Credit helped them on their journey
How did they get to where they are today, where they are giving back to the community as employers, taxpayers, community volunteers, and parents of a new generation so full of promise? Hard work for sure—Heather worked nights for five years while her husband worked days because they couldn’t afford childcare. But they also attribute their success to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
When Heather and her husband were first starting out, they struggled financially. Heather often had to juggle bills, putting off one to pay another. She received the EITC while she was in college and for a few years after she graduated. It allowed her to catch up on bills and pay for other necessities. Without the EITC, she would have needed to drop out of school and take a job that might have paid more, but had fewer opportunities for the future. Now, because of the foundation the EITC helped her lay, she and her husband are high earners and contributing to the state and local taxes that support the community in which they live.
“I was able to get help when I needed it, which allowed us to be employers in our community today. I am happy to pay it forward, to help someone who needs a little help now.”
Read a letter to the editor Heather wrote to the Hawaii Tribune Herald regarding tax fairness here.