Tax Review Panel Wants Hawaii Version of Simpson-Bowles

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

The Hawaii Tax Review Commission will recommend that Hawaii create its own version of the Simpson-Bowles commission to address a projected multi-billion dollar budget shortfall that is anticipated in the next decade.

That recommendation for a Hawaii fiscal reform and others will be formally presented to the Hawaii Legislature Friday, completing the commission's work.

What lawmakers decide to do with the report is up to them.

But Randy Iwase, chairman of the Tax Review Commission and a former legislator, hopes the Legislature will take substantial steps now to head off an estimated $3 billion cash shortfall for the state by 2025, or $17 billion as measured on an accrual basis.

"One of the values this report provides is it brings to public light how severe the shortfall is," Iwase said Wednesday as the commission wrapped up its business at a downtown Honolulu boardroom. "And hopefully, putting sunshine on it will cause people to act."

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