New Law Benefits Taxpayers, Avoids Future Refund Delays

Media Release:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB1948, a bill that requires the Department of Taxation to provide refunds to taxpayers in a timely manner.  The legislation, now Act 171, states that the department must provide refunds within 90 days from the date the tax return is filed, or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later.

“One of the main benefits is that the state must pay interest to the taxpayer if the return is not paid within the required time frame,” said Rep. Pono Chong, the introducer of the bill.  “The legislature was concerned that using the refunds as a way to balance the budget was merely delaying our fiscal responsibility.  In addition, I think most taxpayers understand that the overpayment to the government is their money and they expect a return in a reasonable period.

The bill also requires that all general revenues collected from an increase of any general excise or use tax be used first to pay tax refunds delayed from fiscal years 2010 and 2011.  The law goes into effect on July 1, 2010.

The GET Tax Plan Circulating Around the Capitol

GET Tax Plan-2

…attached a plan that is circulating around the capitol that might interest you. I also hear that some people are thinking about calling for democratic legislators to reach super-majority agreement on revenue generating legislation to forestall Lingle from being allowed to make further large budget cuts that would result if the legislature approves the four revenue-generating bills (deferred in the senate on April 14). The senate does not have enough votes to override vetoes of the 4 bills backed by the house, but the house does not have enough votes to override a veto of the GET. In either case, the governor will have to fill the budget gap by making further cuts in amount of about $250M.

Some senators are proposing the attached GET tax plan that would offset its regressivity, ie people earning under $60,000 would have their taxes reduced, and that plan is attached…

GET Tax Plan-2

Senator Josh Green Asks Governor Lingle for Help With Kona Fires and the Response

Senator Josh Green sent the following email off  YESTERDAY to Governor Lingle regarding the Kona Brush Fires:

Dear Gov,

Could you please institute some emergency support to quell the fires in West Hawaii .

It has become a health hazard.



Governor Lingles Response:

Josh, thanks for bringing this to my attention. Via a copy of this email I am asking General Lee to contact Big Island Civil Defense to determine if and what kind of help they might need. I have copied DLNR Director Thielen as well as my Chief of Staff so we are all linked in when General Lee receives a response from Big Island Civil Defense. Aloha, Gov

Governor Lingle to Speak at Hilo Yacht Club Monday

Gov. Linda Lingle will be the guest speaker at the Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC) luncheon to honor Hawai`i Island winners of this year’s Small Business Association (SBA) awards. The ceremony will take place on Monday, April 6, at the Hilo Yacht Club…

Event registration begins at 11:30 a.m. This event is not open to the public. Cost for registration and payment received by April 1, 2009 is: $28.00 HICC Members ~ $35.00 Please add $5.00 for registration received after April 1, 2009. Seating is limited. For more information, contact the Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce at 935-7178…

More here

Governor’s Site Now a Direct Feed… Can You Hear Me Now Mayor Kenoi, County of Hawaii, etc.?

I’m removing the link to Governor Lingles Press Releases under the “Official Links”.

The Governor’s office has now enabled feeds from their site so bloggers and news media outlets can just pick up the feed straight from the source. I’ve put that link in the column on the left. This way even if I don’t blog for a few days… those links still automatically get updated with no effort at all.

This is what I’m hoping the County of Hawaii will do with their current bogus site so I can quit copying and pasting the PR’s sent to me through email, and so that people can pick and choose whether they want to read that release on my blog or not.