State tech tax credits increase 43 percent
The amount of tax credits claimed for technology business investment jumped 43 percent in 2006 from a year earlier, according to a state report released earlier this week.
Investors claimed $100 million in 2006 under the state's Act 221/215, which provides technology tax incentives, up from $69.8 million in 2005, the state Department of Taxation said in an annual report designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the credit.
The cumulative total of the credits claimed from 1999 through 2006 was $295.6 million.
"In these challenging economic times, the growth of this high-paying sector of local companies is especially important to all of us who care about Hawaii's future," Lisa Gibson, president of the Hawaii Science & Technology Council, said in a statement released after the report.
From 2002 through 2007, Act 221/215 companies spent $1.4 billion in Hawaii, with $384.5 million of that coming in 2007.
Last year, the companies paid $127 million in Hawaii salaries, employing 1,450 full-time isle employees, up from 1,363 in 2006. They also employed 154 part-time employees in Hawaii in 2007, up from 127 in 2006, and 641 temporary or seasonal workers.
Ninety-two percent of the companies had fewer than 25 full-time employees in Hawaii last year, while 40 percent had no full-time employees.
Act 221/215 information and communication technology companies had 250 full-time employees in 2007, more than any other major industry sector, and accounted for the largest share, at 27 percent, of Hawaii payroll expenses that year.
Film and digital media firms received more investment than any other major industry sector in the report last year at $100.6 million -- a third of the total. From 2002 through 2007, at least 333 companies received $1.2 billion in cash investments, with $307.1 million reported last year.
In 2007, 55 of the companies owned 204 patents and had 610 patents pending, while 74 of them owned copyrights. In all, 130 of them, or nearly three-fourths, owned at least one intellectual property right or had a patent pending.
Thirty-eight companies had revenue at least as great as expenses and 139 had revenue less than expenses for 2007.