Attorneys, CPAs and Bank Execs Named to Hawaii Tax Review Commission

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All seven members of the Hawaii Tax Review Commission have been named, and its members could convene for their first meeting as early as next month to begin the challenging task of reevaluating the state's tax structure.

Members of the voluntary board include three attorneys, two certified accountants and a bank executive and former bank executive.

Some are familiar names: Peter Ho is head of Bank of Hawaii. Randy Iwase is a local politician and former gubernatorial candidate, and Roy Amemiya is a former Central Pacific Bank executive. Commission member Gregg Taketa said the group could hold its initial meeting in July.

The commission, which meets every five years, last came together in 2005. Technically, the group should have come together last year, but former Gov. Linda Lingle only named two members. Gov. Neil Abercrombie named a third person this year, who was confirmed by the Senate in May, and four interim appointments, including two on Thursday. The four interim members must be confirmed by the Senate next year.

The commission is responsible for analyzing the state's tax structure and ensuring taxpayers pay their fair share, according to Hawaii Revised Statutes 232E. It's required to produce a report and recommendations to lawmakers "30 days prior to the convening of the second regular session of the legislature after the members of the commission have been appointed."

That likely means lawmakers won't see a report until 2013. The commission's former chairman said it would be impossible for the new group to come out with a report before January's session.

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