January 1996 Home   Newsletters

February 1996

March 1996

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Vote Counts Cancelled (Arlene Ellis)
Report of the Membership Recruitment Committee (Grace Furukawa)
League on "Oahu Speaks" Special
Cheryl Soon to Speak at P&Z Committee Meeting (Astrid Monson)
Testimony on Bill Relating to Development Agreements
State News - House Committee on Finance: Taxation
Court Monitoring Project Underway
National News - Challenge to National Voter Registration Act
Action Call
Many Voices One Vision
Annual United Nations Wrap-Up (insert) (Margery Cohen)

State News - Excerpts from Testimony before the House Committee on Finance on HB 3301, Relating to Taxation

The League of Women voters supports the intent of HB 3301 to incrementally increase the tax rates of those in the upper income level.

The State's income tax is almost a "flat tax" above a certain level, since the same tax rate applies to all families with an annual income of $42,000 or more. This bill addresses a more progressive approach to increasing tax revenues by increasing the rate at the upper income levels, upon those best able to pay.

Nobody wants to pay more taxes, and no politician wants to raise them. But to solve our problems of revenue shortfalls, and increasing expenditures, we can either cut back on public services and facilities – including reduction of waste and fraud – or we can raise taxes, or both.

The League of Women Voters' position on taxation is essentially that taxes should be progressive over all and rely primarily on a broad-based income tax.

A society has to decide on how it will treat its most vulnerable members – its children, its aged, its sick and infirm, its involuntarily unemployed. Obviously every effort must be made to get able-bodied folk to work and take care of themselves, to eliminate waste and fraud, and to avoid unnecessary and extravagant public expenses. But after all this is done, enough money has to be raised to fund what is needed. Whatever private sources can contribute is welcome, but the vast bulk of these needs will have to be met by all of us collectively, and that means taxes. With a rationally progressive tax system, neither the poor, the middle classes, nor the rich need to be overburdened.

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