- July 30, 2018
- Hawaiʻi Appleseed
- Hawai‘i Budget & Policy Center
Hawai‘i has a new resource to help make better budget and tax policy decisions, coming online at a critical time in light of recent and upcoming events in Washington.
The Hawai‘i Budget Primer serves as a starting point for a new effort to pull together data and information relating to the budget so policy makers, community leaders, and interested citizens can make better informed budget and policy decisions.
Takeaways from the Budget Primer include the following:
- Hawai‘i is last in the nation in terms of percentage of our state budget that comes from federal sources, suggesting that Hawai‘i may have an opportunity to attract more federal dollars to support state programs.
- State government spending accounts for 20 percent of the gross state product (GSP). In combination with county budgets, 26 percent of the GSP comes from Hawai‘i-based government.
- Hawai‘i residents with the lowest incomes pay almost twice as much of their earnings to state taxes than people with the highest incomes.
- The state’s biggest source of tax revenue is the general excise tax. The GET appears to be deceptively modest (4 to 4.5 percent) if seen as a sales tax but, because it’s an excise tax applied to virtually every transaction, the multiplied effect would equal a sales tax of 10 to 11 percent.
- Hawai‘i’s property taxes, which are collected at the county level only, are at the lowest rates in the country.