Tags: hawaii | taxes | cost of living | affordability

Leaving Paradise Under Duress

Leaving Paradise Under Duress

By with Michael R. Shannon
Tuesday, 31 December 2019 10:47 AM Current | Bio | Archive

God Almighty used angels bearing flaming swords to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, but recent evidence shows He could just as well have used tax collectors.

Keli’i Akina, writing in The Wall Street Journal, tells us that’s what’s happening in America’s modern island paradise, also known as Hawaii.

“According to the Tax Foundation, the real value of $100 in Hawaii is $84.39 — worse than California and New York. … At 11% the state’s top marginal income-tax rate is second only to California’s. A 2018 study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy determined that the state’s general excise tax — a sales tax substitute — raises the effective tax rate on low-income households to about 15%. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Hawaii has the nation’s heaviest sales-tax burden as a share of personal income.”

And, like the formerly golden state of California, Hawaii is experiencing a population drain.

“Despite being consistently rated as the 'happiest state' in the nation, Hawaii is experiencing its third straight year of negative migration.”

The people leaving are the ones who could have been relied upon to build the state for the future. The three demographic groups most likely to depart the island paradise are the young, the highly educated, and the well-off. Meaning “fewer new businesses, more-crowded classrooms, and shortages of doctors and nurses” in the future.

The author singles out the Holloman family as an example of why people leave for the mainland.

She quotes them as saying, “At the time we moved, gasoline was $5.04 and milk $6.99 a gallon.” And, in an example that will be very familiar to California residents, the Hollomans, “sold their 704-square-foot home and bought a house in Georgetown, Ind. ‘Our tiny Hawaiian home was valued at $25,000 more than our four-bedroom home on one full acre here.’”

Just like in California, land-use regulation drives the cost of housing up because there is so little land available. Housing construction is allowed on only five percent of the land in Hawaii. And finding a spot is just the beginning. It usually takes 10 years to get permission, permits, and construction finalized. In Hawaii, ‘fast-tracking’ construction cuts the time to a blazing 5 years.

Akina says the most common question asked of people that have left Hawaii is, “Why would anyone leave Hawaii?” We suggest they reply it’s so expensive there that Obama doesn’t live in Hawaii anymore either.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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God Almighty used angels bearing flaming swords to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, but recent evidence shows He could just as well have used tax collectors.
hawaii, taxes, cost of living, affordability
Tuesday, 31 December 2019 10:47 AM
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