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Hawai‘i cashes in on higher gas prices

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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:15 pm

LIHU‘E — The Tax Foundation reports Hawai‘i is one of nine U.S. states that siphons off more tax revenue when gas prices rise.

The federal government and each state imposes a tax on gasoline at a fixed number, meaning tax revenues for fuel are based upon quantities used rather than prices paid.

However, the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit organization that monitors fiscal policy, said some states, including Hawai‘i, practice “double taxation” on gas purchases by tacking on additional price-dependent sales taxes or similar percentage-based taxes, thereby increasing state revenues as gas prices climb.

For every gallon of gas purchased, Hawai‘i drivers are taxed a total of five times: federal fuel tax of 18 cents per gallon; state fuel tax of 17 cents per gallon; Environmental Response, Energy & Food Security tax of $1.05 per barrel; county taxes ranging between 8.8 and 16.5 cents per gallon; and a state gross income tax for distributors of 4.17 percent that is then passed on to consumers as general excise tax.

Other states that double tax on gas include: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York and Virginia. The Tax Foundation said Illinois leads the pack with a 9.25 percent sales tax, with proceeds split between state and local governments. The state of Hawai‘i does not directly allocate general excise tax revenues to counties but rather uses the funds to balance its state budget.

Nationally, fuel prices have increased an average of 75 cents per gallon over the last year, with the greatest gains occuring within the last six months.

Hawaiigasprices.com indicates Hawai‘i currently has the highest gasoline prices in the country at $4.25 per gallon, based upon national metro-area averages. Hawai‘i’s fuel prices have increased 10 cents per gallon during the last week alone.

Kaua‘i’s gas prices averaged $4.28 last week, up 72 cents or 20 percent compared to the same period last year. A Hawai‘i Department of Business and Economic Development report said Kaua‘i used 35.65 million gallons of gas in 2007. 

• Vanessa Van Voorhis, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or by emailing vvanvoorhis@ thegardenisland.com.

© 2015 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Happy Accident posted at 2:01 pm on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    Happy Accident Posts: 473

    You said, “…with the help of government subsidies”. Duh! So the government takes peoples money so it can decide how they should lead their life rather than letting them spend it as they wish. Their taxes are extreme because they depend on government to do everything from wiping their noses to wiping the other end as well. That’s what Ghould wants to see; government controlling all money and doing everything (its definition) for everybody so that future generations are whiney little weak irresponsible do-nothings. I don’t need to provide solutions for you twit. There already out there. It’s merely a matter of which pathway do we take. Big drone feeding nanny government as you wish or a strong industrious citizenry as us winners want. Ghoul likes Norway because it does at he’d do; have other people carry the burden for their own hedonistic lifestyle. We had to save their butts in WW2 and they’re planning on us bailing them out when they need it again. GHOUL: Move to Norway.

  • sgoold posted at 11:51 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    sgoold Posts: 468

    Aloha Grumpy Accident ~
    Americans represent 4% of world population but use 25% of world oil. As the rest of the world catches up with us in terms of use, oil prices will skyrocket. You offer no solution!

    Norway uses high gas taxes to build efficient public transportation, safe and convenient bike and walking paths, and people enjoy riding their bikes and driving fuel efficient cars - cars purchased with the help of government subsidies.

    America is now locked into three conflicts in oil/gas-rich nations. This costs us over $1 TRILLION PER YEAR. So add this "tax" to the price per gallon at the pump - higher than $0.68 in direct taxes.

    While we fight wars and battle global terrorists, Norway does not. They instead provide their kids FREE college, citizens FREE medical care, 12 weeks of annual vacation and great retirement at 60 years of age.

    You ... well, you currently suffer $14.2 TRILLION in national debt, a large state deficit, which is why you are so angry!


  • wati posted at 10:43 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    wati Posts: 110

    It's time for Electric - http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=14281209

  • Happy Accident posted at 10:05 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    Happy Accident Posts: 473

    Ghoul & friends are against any form of automation as it might cost their inefficient workers jobs. Ghoul & friends want you to pay them more for doing less and to protect their long history of stalling American competitiveness. Europe is our future if we let Ghoul’s unfettered socialism reign as he would have it. Our economic situation under Ghoul wouldn't change because the money spend now on Obama's World Savior wars would merely be lavishly spend by Ghoul's Social Democrats on hiring more inefficient government workers to take over more private sector jobs. Unless you work for the government, you’re a drone earning money to pay taxes which go into the government unions’ pockets. One day Hawaii will wake up and see that we need to do what Wisconsin and Ohio have done to end union control of our government and their own pay & benefits.

  • Happy Accident posted at 10:04 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    Happy Accident Posts: 473

    "Norway suffers the highest gas prices in the world - roughly $10/gallon. Western European nations pay $7 - $9 per gallon."

    And this is exactly what our little commie friend Scott Ghoul would prefer in the Great Socialist One World Republic he wants to build. The reason the gas price is higher in Europe is because of the huge taxes added on to support their socialist systems with enormous numbers of public sector union employees who, like Ghoul here, are unproductive, lazy and greedy; always wanting more pay or less work - the hell with productivity. In fact, they’re anti-productivity as they work against American industry and government being more efficient.

  • sgoold posted at 7:22 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    sgoold Posts: 468

    Aloha ~
    The Tax Foundation, Lowell Kalapa, continues to lie to you. Gas taxes on Kaua'i do equal $0.68 per gallon but Kalapa claims you are double-taxed.

    This is an illusion, as Kalapa adds the GET. GET is charged any time there is a transaction. It's not a double-tax.

    Yet let's be honest with ourselves. Why are we in Libya today? Oil. How about Iraq? Oil. Saudi Arabia (home of the 19 hijackers)? Oil. Conflict with Iran? Oil.

    Thus, our gas tax isn't JUST $0.68. We spend over a trillion dollars per year policing the world for oil. If we end this, our national annual deficit would be wiped clean.

    Norway suffers the highest gas prices in the world - roughly $10/gallon. Western European nations pay $7 - $9 per gallon.

    Gas is too cheap here. We should increase taxes. We should USE less. We should buy smaller cars, more fuel efficient cars and look to hybrid technologies.

    Kalapa works for the Rich - their taxes are at 60-year lows. His work ensures YOU pay more!



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