Bill that would reduce tax increase on Hawaii businesses advances
By MARK NIESSE
HONOLULU — An enormous pending tax increase on Hawaii businesses is being reduced under a measure quickly moving toward becoming law.
The bill, which passed its final committee Friday, would reduce the average tax hike from $1,070 to $630 per employee this year.
Businesses currently pay an average of $90 per employee.
The larger tax increase was called for using a complicated formula designed to ensure that unemployment funds keep flowing to the jobless.
The state is spending about $30 million a month on unemployment benefits.
The proposal moderates the tax jump and borrows money from the federal government to keep unemployment funds solvent.
State officials want the bill to become law by March 12, before businesses get their tax bills.