Hawaii Tax Review Panel to Ask for More Time

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Hawaii lawmakers will have to wait an extra year to get advice on the state's tax structure.

The Hawaii Tax Review Commission, which is convened every five years, will seek an extension to its statutory reporting deadline, its chairman Randy Iwase told Civil Beat. The delay would put the report two years behind schedule at a time when lawmakers are scouring options to scrape up new revenue.

By law, the commission is responsible for analyzing the state's tax structure and ensuring taxpayers pay their fair share. The statute requires an evaluation and recommendations "30 days prior to the convening of the second regular session of the legislature after the members of the commission have been appointed."

The commission last came together in 2005 and presented its comprehensive report prior to the 2007 legislative session. 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 as recently as June. The four interim members still need to be confirmed by the Senate next year.

"Because four of us were appointed in the latter half of this year, with a report due in December, there's absolutely no way we can do that," Iwase said. "We'll ask that it be extended to (December) 2012." He said that request will require drafting legislation.

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