Hawaii Tax Panel Report 'Impossible' This Year

The former chair of the state's Tax Review Commission says it's unlikely this year's group will be able to put together a report for lawmakers before the start of the next legislative session.

That means Hawaii will have to wait another year for the tax code to undergo a thorough review.

The commission, which meets every five years, last came together in 2005. It is responsible for analyzing the state's tax structure and ensuring taxpayers pay their fair share. While the group's reports aren't binding, its findings are often used by lawmakers to adjust tax laws, craft increases and scrutinize exemptions. Technically, the group should have met last year.

"This commission is way late," said state Rep. Isaac Choy, who chaired the 2005 Tax Review Commission. "They'll have to figure out an extension to get a report completed. It's impossible to get it done by January — if they want to do a good report."

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has named five of the seven required members, according to spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz. They are: Mitchell Imanaka, Randy Iwase, Michael McEnerney, Gregg Taketa and Darryl Nitta.

Dela Cruz said the five members are enough to make a quorum. But they have yet to schedule a first meeting.

Choy said the appointments were news to him.

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