Posts Tagged business

Death and . . . well, you know

So, who do you think pays the most in state taxes in the US?  New Yorkers?  That would have been my guess, simply based on how legendarily expensive it is.  (Not to mention how bad a beating my wallet takes every time I go there.  Ok, technically speaking, the nice restaurants shouldn’t count as a New York tax–it’s really more of a tax on me for not living in NYC.)  So then, if not New York, maybe Massachusetts?  Don’t they call it “The People’s Republic of Massachusetts”?  If a strong tradition of Northeastern liberalism doesn’t result in a hefty tax bill, then nothing will.

Yes, New York and Massachusetts both make the top 5.  But for a sheer, soul-crushing, burdensome tax scheme, no other state can beat Hawaii.  That’s right.  We’re #1! We’re #1!  I quote the San Francisco Chronicle’s recent article on the states with the greatest individual tax burden on their residents:

  • Hawaii
    The Aloha State may be renowned as one of the most beautiful states in the Union, but that beauty comes at significant cost: the average Hawaiian paid out $1,010 in state taxes in the first quarter of the year, the highest of any state. The two biggest components to the state’s revenues were income and excise taxes.

    Unlike many other states, Hawaii doesn’t have a sales tax – instead, Hawaiians pay gross receipts (or excise) taxes on each of their purchases. That means that items like rent, medical bills and food are all taxable purchases in Hawaii, unlike other states with traditional sales tax. That also means that tax-exempt non-profits have to pay out Hawaii’s excise tax regardless of their status in other states. (Real estate costs in Hawaii are also high. Read more, in Simple Ways To Save In Retirement.)

    Read more:

    How bad is it when San Francisco feels sorry for you?  Damn. (In case you’re wondering, rounding out the top 5 are Connecticut, New York, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.  A small, mean part of me feels that higher taxes are no less than those residents deserve for having the Patriots, Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Jets, and Vikings between them.  Hawaii’s number one and doesn’t have so much as a professional soccer team to its credit.  How’s that fair? )
    So could you use an extra couple of thousand dollars a year?  (Double for couples where you both work.)  Because this is where our decades of high-tax/high-spend policies have landed us.  With an individual tax burden higher than any other state in the US.  Personally, I think it’s time we start asking our legislative and gubernatorial candidates some hard questions about their tax policies.

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    Major Business Publications Alarmed By Akaka Bill

    by Ken Conklin

    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has published two major editorials against the Akaka bill at crucial moments when the U.S. Senate was poised to consider it.

    “A Bright Line on Race” editorial in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL of October 2, 2000

    “The Akaka State? A recipe for Balkanization heads for the Senate floor” editorial in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL of June 2, 2006

    WSJ has also published a number of commentaries opposing the Akaka bill by columnist John Fund: July 18 2005, August 19 2005, June 5, 2006, June 12, 2006. WSJ published a major commentary on August 16, 2005 by former Senators Slade Gorton and Hank Brown repudiating the apology resolution of 1993 which provides the most important theoretical rationale for the Akaka bill.

    Even THE ECONOMIST (London) expressed concern on September 2, 2005

    Full text of all the above articles is available from subpages reached through an index organized chronologically at

    Readers might think those articles are not specifically concerned with the impact of the Akaka bill on business, since The Wall Street Journal and The Economist often try to familiarize their readers with broad social and political issues.

    But three commentaries about the Akaka bill in August and October of 2007 were in publications that specifically target audiences of business owners and investors. Thus it appears the business community both nationwide and in Hawaii is beginning to awaken to the dangers of the Akaka bill. These three articles are still available immediately at no charge from their publishers’ websites:

    HAWAII BUSINESS magazine, August 2007 (pro-con debate)

    NASDAQ NEWS, October 24, 2007 (news report following House passage)

    INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY, Monday, October 29, 2007, EDITORIAL in opposition.

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