comscore Do you agree with a new state policy to bank a "rainy day" fund equal to 10 percent of annual treasury collections (about $680 million)? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Big Q

Do you agree with a new state policy to bank a “rainy day” fund equal to 10 percent of annual treasury collections (about $680 million)?

  • A. Yes; wise for emergencies, bond rating (651 Votes)
  • B. No; too frugal, shortchanges today's problems (285 Votes)
  • C. Undecided; don't know (67 Votes)

This is not a scientific poll — results reflect only the opinions of those voting.

Comments (13)

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  • This proposal is merely another way to raise taxes. It creates a slush fund which legislators can raid for whatever pet project they like, without being accountable to voters.

    Let’s remember how the “hurricane fund” and the “highway fund” have been used as slush funds in the past. On one hand taxes were raised to provide money for the highway fund with the excuse that the money would be used for fixing potholes and maintaining roads; or money was set aside for the hurricane fund in order to take care of damage from a future hurricane that might exceed the ability of insurance reserves to cover. But on the other hand those funds got raided nearly every year to pay for government boondoggles which had no relationship whatsoever to maintaining roads or repairing hurricane damage.

    Legislators will never leave a huge pot of money sitting in a savings account — they will grab the money to “balance the budget” whenever they cause a budget imbalance by spending too much in the first place. Just look what’s been happening the last couple of months as labor unions and special interest groups have already been making demands on the 2017 legislature to spend a perceived budget surplus to raise wages or fund kindergarten or build a prison or yadayada.

  • The real question is, will the government plunder the account, like the the state pension fund or the federal social security fund?

    After it is plundered, the blame and burden, will fall back on the taxpayers.

    The original need or purpose for a tax, will eventually satisfy its original purpose, and the tax will live in forever. There are no sunset clauses for newly created taxes, that have fully succeeded with their original purpose.

    All legislators will just keep on spending the money.

    • Billions could be saved by ending rail at Middle Street, charging a higher fee to ride it to reduce the subsidies tax payers will be hit with.

      Rail is the biggest new money pit ever in the Nei.

      • Ending rail at Middle Street will just decrease rail ridership and thereby increase the traffic on the west side.

        The only rational response to that by the city council is to have urban sprawl all over the island.

        This would be a disaster for our economy and the future of our grandchildren and children.

        • Not at all. Rail will have just as many riders by ending at Middle Street. Change to buses and be whisked right to their place of work. Totally seamless.

          With rail 300% over budget with no end in sight, no firm completion date, monthly O&M costs estimated around $20-50 million per month, rail will be the newest state money pit.

          The rail debacle will push our children and grandchildren to realize there is no future in the Nei. They can have a far higher quality working career, bigger home and yard, lower mortgage and best of all, more economical life style by moving to the mainland. Only losers will remain in the Nei, rail worker drones.

          Some times you have to accept the utter failure of rail to be “On time, on budget.”

  • Of course the SA does not know how to put the right question. The most reasonable choice is missing as usual: Use the darn money to pay off the darn debt! While these Gov Ige fools pay interest on the debt they receive hardly any interest putting the surplus in the bank!

  • Hawaii State Constitution:
    “ARTICLE VII
    “DISPOSITION OF EXCESS REVENUES

    “Section 6. Whenever the state general fund balance at the close of each of two successive fiscal years exceeds five percent of general fund revenues for each of the two fiscal years, the legislature in the next regular session shall provide for a tax refund or tax credit to the taxpayers of the State, as provided by law. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978”

    The Constitution of the State of Hawaii is clear on how to handle excess funds from taxes.

  • I am very apprehensive that the “rainy day” fund will be drawn down at the whim of the Legislature? Hence, it could end up as front end revenue (tax) collections. Who provides oversight on how and / or justify how these funds are to be used?

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