Bills contain $49M in tax credits
Food and excise tax refunds are targeted for joint filers earning under $50,000 yearly
Some Hawaii residents would get state tax credits up to $160, but many would get nothing, according to preliminary descriptions of tax bills worked out late last night at the Legislature.
The total package of the two tax credit bills was worth $49 million, say legislative aides.
Hawaii law mandates that some tax money be returned to taxpayers because the state has had two years of budget surplus. However, the amount of the money returned is up to lawmakers, who worked late into the night yesterday to finalize the proposals.
Senate Bill 148, which moves to a vote before both houses of the Legislature next week, includes $160 for a taxpayer filing a joint return with an adjusted income of $5,000. Families making between $50,000 and $60,000 would get $90.
But those filing joint returns of more than $60,000 would get nothing.
The other major tax credit proposal, Senate Bill 1882, would give a tax credit to those who pay food and excise tax credits.
Again the credits would be staggered with those making $5,000 getting $85 in credits.
Hawaii taxpayers earning between $40,000 and $50,000 would get a $25 tax credit and those making more would not get any credit.
In the past, similar constitutionally required tax refunds have also been worth as little as $1 and as much as $100.
The information on the tax bills was limited last night with no formal copies of the bill available by 11:30 p.m.
House and Senate aides relayed information about the tax bills out of a conference committee that had been working on the bills.
The final numbers, however, were decided in a closed-door meeting between House Speaker Calvin Say and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, according to some senators.
The numbers were apparently closely guarded as even state Tax Director Kurt Kawafuchi said he did not know the final totals.