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Environmental groups: Tax to save Hawaii's water

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press


Environmental advocates are urging the Hawaii Legislature to help preserve Hawaii’s water by increasing taxes on high-end property sales.

The House Committee on Water and Land gave approval to a bill Monday that increases the conveyance tax on property worth $2 million or more and marks the funds for water protection and other natural resources.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources Director William Aila says the bill is the top priority for his department this session.

The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the Maui Invasive Species Committee and other environmental groups are pushing for the bill.

Opponents include the Chamber of Commerce and the Hawaii Association of Realtors.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said during the State of the State address that he supports the initiative.

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nitestalker4 wrote:
exactly what projects is this money to be for or are they wanting to tax simply for the sake of taxing those with more than they have. if this isn't more class warfare then name the specific projects and outcomes that the tax will go for. the people they're attacking for more funds pay the majority of the state's taxes as it is. nothing like trying to squeeze more and more blood fm the turnip. these people should get a life and mind their own business.
on January 28,2013 | 02:48PM
islandsun wrote:
Eactly. And what has the Sierra Club done lately but promote massive development. And the DLNR has been Inept for the most part.
on January 28,2013 | 02:53PM
bobbob wrote:
And what will they do when they decide they need more money and "high-end" property goes to 1.5 mil or 1 mil or less? Easy to enact a tax or raise a tax, very difficult to remove it. Will this tax be indexed to inflation? Or will everyone be subject to this tax in the next 10-20 years?
on January 29,2013 | 02:35AM
noheawilli wrote:
Wow what an original thought, lets tax the rich people, how novel.
on January 28,2013 | 02:56PM
eastside808 wrote:
The best people to tax to preserve our water are the ones that are wasting water. Lets see what a reasonable water usage is for residential, commercial and rentals , industrial and agricultural. Anyone using more that the average should pay more in taxes. This would encourage the various users to find ways of using less potable water or encourage future designed projects that would use grey water as well. Taxing the rich doesnt seem reasonable or fair.
on January 28,2013 | 03:29PM
thebostitch wrote:
This is interesting but mostly stupid. The Democrats always forget that it still is a free market out there and people have choices. In this scenario the number of sales of properties over 2 mill will certainly decrease. But lets assume that with the extra Tax there will be the same Tax revenue, however the extra percentage for "Save the Waters" Tax will go in separate found and the government will actually end up with less revenue because of less sales. When Democrats project their revenues and decide to increase the Tax percentage they project a higher income thinking that it will be the same amount of sales and in reality the number of sales will decrease, and in most cases they end up less revenue. That is why Tax cuts produce more revenue, because people have more money to spend, more money going around end up with more sales, not the other way around. And Taxing the reach never brings more revenue, just shows the envy and hate for the successful. Personally, only the reach gave me jobs, and if they have less money to spend we suffer, not them.
on January 28,2013 | 03:57PM
South76 wrote:
Instead of taxing those buying properties greater than two million dollars, how about finally taxing those who are really doing damage to our water.
on January 28,2013 | 04:39PM
ichiban wrote:
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, THE SIERRA CLUB--Do a background check on their members on the NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SCALE. The top people in many of these environmental groups are Establishment insiders and CEO or Corporate top level managers of large companies. They are on the Board of Directors of some of the largest Foundations in the nation. They are also members of the Board of Directors in many of these environmental groups. Recall the scare tactics they used about ACID RAIN, OZONE LAYER HOLES. SPOTTED OWL ENDANGERED because of loss of their woodland. All that happened was the closing of lumber mills, factories and job loss in the housing sector, the manufacturing industries--the domino effect continued. Later it was found that if left alone nature would take its course. So what is their agenda? Easy--cause polarization by discriminating against the rich and the poor, the have and the have not. Eventually you come up with one class of people and that is the beginning of SOCIALISM. Just like obama style. Go global--fresh water, forests, clean air, fuel, etc., all these item of concern has no natural boundaries. They are "world concern", needing world jurisdiction.....get it?
on January 28,2013 | 04:54PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Now will this be one of those taxes that goes into a "special" fund? Because those "special" funds fool me every time...
on January 28,2013 | 05:15PM
keys4me wrote:
Is that legal?
on January 28,2013 | 05:53PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
For once I see a tax that is more fair to the middle class and the poor. If a person can afford a $2 million dollar home, he or she is obviously able to pay more in taxes. What I don't agree with is the purpose of the tax. It should NOT be to preserve Hawaii's water. What it SHOULD be used for is to help with the budget deficits.
on January 28,2013 | 06:11PM
ichiban wrote:
This is America. Since when did we come to dislike free enterprise and capitalism where a poor person with limited education, work hard to get higher education or through his/her ingenuity become wealthy? Don't put all the blame on the rich. Maybe that person didn't necessarily work harder but worked smarter than you to accumulate his wealth.
on January 28,2013 | 08:18PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I hear you!
on January 29,2013 | 05:39AM
false wrote:
DUH....... this should have been done DECADES AGO...
on January 28,2013 | 06:22PM
LanaUlulani wrote:

Here go the crazies. Money in the form of taxes should not go to ANY government. It should go directly to the keiki and mo'opuna instead.

Taxes are theft. Leave local people and their keiki alone and get out of Hawai'i !!!

on January 28,2013 | 06:50PM
st1d wrote:
a fee should be applied to surfers. before going out to ride waves, surfers can purchase time by the hour and location for surfing. that would decrease the number of surfers on waves and lead to less dropping-in incidents and thus less violence on the waves.

beach goers should pay also for beach time. they can be assessed by the hours they lounge on the beach as well as how much space they want to reserve for themselves. beach and ocean attendants (as in parking lot attendants) can be placed at popular sites to collect fees.

the best thing about this is that it is not a tax but a fee. anyone choosing not to go to the beach, not to swim in the water, or not to surf, will not be subject to these fees. it's all about choice.

on January 28,2013 | 08:30PM
localguy wrote:
Not going to work. Anytime bureaucrats set a new tax they do it with the intention of raiding it later on to fund their pet projects. Lets not forget years ago bureaucrats all promised all money from the tobacco settlement would only be used for stop smoking and health related programs. They lied to us. In no time they were taking away millions for personal projects, other uses. Same will happen with this program if the tax is increased. Better to not increase it and give more money for bureaucrats to waste. This is what they do in the Nei, nothing.
on January 28,2013 | 08:39PM
tiki886 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 29,2013 | 12:29AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Rather than lobbying for taxes on people that have to work for a living these so called environmental groups should empty their coffers to fund the programs they promote rather than siphoning money to legislators making a living on graft to further burden the working people.
on January 29,2013 | 05:52AM
CloudForest wrote:
Save the aina! Eat the eviro-wacko groups that cause so much distraction and harm - all in the name of "helping".
on January 29,2013 | 02:39AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Cloud - Eat them?!! Seriously?? Who would eat manure? (aside from allie)
on January 29,2013 | 05:55AM
sumoroach wrote:
More taxes for the general fund.
on January 29,2013 | 03:18AM
palani wrote:
Did someone say TAX? Neil's on board!
on January 29,2013 | 04:02AM
bender wrote:
Wait a minute, the state increased the fee on a barrel of oil from 5 cents to a dollar with the money to go to preservation of water sheds. What other water could they wanting to preserve, the stuff in the pipes? But the legislature diverted that fund to the general fund, just as they do with any other fund they create. The argument should be about restoring the barrel tax to its intended purpose, or maybe even rescinding it altogether.
on January 29,2013 | 05:01AM
islandsun wrote:
My guess is that with the massive development coming up on the westside and everywhere else, they will need new water sources. They should be taxing developers and landowners on new developments for this.
on January 29,2013 | 05:23AM
Kanewai wrote:
Sounds good but who will administer funds. Do they go into the general fund or set aside in trust to manage invasive species (pigs, sheep, and people including the state and federal government). That water belongs to the citizens of Hawaii in trust as per the Supreme Court-not just a few elite environmental activists. How will these $ be managed?
on January 29,2013 | 05:40AM
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