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Tom Yamachika

Tom Yamachika
Tom Yamachika is the President of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, a private, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to informing the taxpaying public about the finances of our state and local governments in Hawaii. Tom is also a tax attorney in solo practice and has been since early 2013. Prior to 2013, he was with the accounting firm Accuity LLP, which was formed in 2006 from the Honolulu office of Coopers & Lybrand (which later became PricewaterhouseCoopers). Before that, he served as an Administrative Rules Specialist in the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation from 1994 to 1996, where he drafted rules, interpretive releases, and legislation on several different state taxes. Prior to that, he practiced litigation and tax law with Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright in Honolulu.

Community Voices: Making Money at the County Level

When we speak of and follow government in this space, we usually concentrate on state government and the state legislature.  But we mustn’t forget that there are county governments as well.  They supply important services such as police, fire, park and road maintenance, trash and sewer disposal, and water supply. How does a county raise money to pay for these …

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Tax Casualty? Maui Memorial Hospital

This week our series of tax news returns to Maui, where we have an update on the efforts to help with Maui Memorial Hospital workers and other employees of our state health system. As we have written before, our state-run hospitals in Maui County, including Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital, have been losing …

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Tax Casualty? Maui County Carnival

The 2nd Annual Maui County Carnival, scheduled for April 6-9, 2017, has been canceled.  Skyrocketing state government fees have been blamed as one reason for the cancellation. In April 2016, E.K. Fernandez Shows brought the carnival to Maui for four days at the War Memorial Complex in Wailuku.  The inaugural event featured rides, games, food, entertainment, and special attractions.  The …

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TAXWatch: The CreditAbles

This year’s legislative session, as in many others, considers many and varied forms of tax relief.  Terms being bandied about include exemptions, deductions, and tax credits, and among tax credits there are the “CreditAbles” – refundable, nonrefundable, and assignable credits.  This week we will take some of the mysteries out of those terms. An “exemption” or “exclusion” describes something that …

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Economic Nexus: Solving the Online Tax Dodge

Recently there has been some confusion about a bill now in our legislature, SB 620, that would redefine how our general excise tax laws define “doing business.” The bill concerns a U.S. Constitutional concept called “substantial nexus.”  Some amount of connection between a potential taxpayer and a State is needed before the State has power to impose that tax.  The …

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Community Voices: Yes, Toto, Tourists Also Pay Real Property Tax

On March 8, the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism released a study on Hawaii real property taxes. It may be unusual for a State agency to do a study on a county tax.  But this study appeared to be an outgrowth of a move by our teachers’ union during the 2016 legislative session, which we wrote about …

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