Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hawaii Legislature advancing tax hikes, company sues over Honolulu fireworks ban, Kauai OKs development, industry coming to Lualualei valley, more Hawaii news

Honolulu homeless (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Putting homeless to work. KITV4.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering tax increases amid hundreds of bills getting votes Tuesday as the Legislature enters the final weeks of this year's session facing deep budget difficulties. Associated Press.

The state Senate approved its version of the budget yesterday and grudgingly agreed to suspend general excise tax exemptions on several business activities to help make it balance. Star-Advertiser.

The state House of Representatives today passed bills to tax well-to-do pensioners, boost liquor and motor vehicle taxes, eliminate numerous existing tax exemptions, and impose 10 cent fees on plastic and paper shopping bags. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii lawmakers are hearing from legal experts about a national project designed to increase public safety, reduce prison spending and create alternate criminal justice strategies. Associated Press.

Poll finds favorable, unfavorable politicians. Hawaii News Now.

Taxes were on the agenda at the Honolulu City Council, particularly property taxes and how to handle certain rate and exemptions. KHON2.

The city Office of Economic Development and Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts remain on the chopping block after a recommendation by the City Council’s Budget Committee yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Executive assistants hired temporarily by the City and County of Honolulu make more money than most of their civil engineer, police officer, project manager and chemist counterparts. Civil Beat.

Hawaii charities strained by support for Japan. Hawaii News Now.

A deal has been reached to bring back the symphony in Honolulu. KHON2.

A fireworks import and wholesale company is going to court to block the city from enforcing its recent fireworks ban. Star-Advertiser.

A glut of distressed properties, both from foreclosures and short sales, continued to weigh down Maui real estate prices in the first quarter of this year, real estate experts said Monday. Maui News.

The county Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the necessary permits for Anaina Hou to proceed with the next phase of an increasingly controversial project in Kilauea. Garden Island.

She's not calling it by that name, but Ka'u Councilwoman Brittany Smart is asking for a development moratorium in Ka'u until a planning group comes up with a community development plan the County Council can agree upon. West Hawaii Today.

The State Land Use Commission’s (LUC) decision to allow a light industrial park to be built on Lualualei valley farmland has been rescheduled for April 20 or 21 due to voting constraints. Hawaii Independent.

The Small Business Administration on Tuesday announced it will offer low-interest federal disaster loans to Maui County businesses that sustained damage from the March tsunami. KITV4.

Got milk? Then you may have radiation from the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan … but only a "minute" amount. Hawaii News Now.

Food and Drug Administration inspections of food being brought to Hawaii and other parts of the country from Japan are showing no increases in radiation levels, an FDA spokeswoman said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Marine biologists are taking a "wait-and-see" approach before deciding what to do with an unwanted visitor that washed up near the Wai Opae tidepools in Puna. Tribune-Herald.