Historic Bills Signed to Improve Hawai‘i’s Cost of Living

Posted on Jul 1, 2024 in Main

Historic Bills Signed to Improve Hawai‘i’s Cost of LivingGovernor Josh Green, M.D., recently signed two major pieces of legislation, House Bill (HB) 2404 and Senate Bill (SB) 1035, into law. HB 2404 provides significant tax relief to Hawaiʻi’s families. It’s the largest income tax cut for working families in the state’s history and makes the tax code more progressive.

“This legislation is a historic step toward addressing the financial challenges and the cost-of-living crisis faced by Hawaiʻi’s working families,” said Governor Green. “By doubling the standard deduction and amending the tax brackets, HB 2404 provides much-needed tax relief to our residents.”

HB 2404 amends two key components of Hawai‘i’s tax code over a seven-year period. In odd years, the legislation increases the standard deduction, which benefits low- and medium-income households. In even years, the legislation amends the tax brackets by eliminating the lowest brackets and lowering the tax rates for all brackets. As a result of these changes, the state income taxes paid by working class families will fall 71% by 2031. This legislation will help Hawai‘i transition from being the second highest-taxed state for working families to the fourth-lowest.

In addition to the historic tax reform, Governor Green also signed into law SB 1035, which exempts certain medical services from the general excise tax (GET). This legislation will provide relief to the healthcare system in Hawaiʻi by specifically exempting hospitals, infirmaries, medical clinics, health care facilities, pharmacies, and medical and dental providers from the GET on goods or services that are reimbursed through Medicaid, Medicare, or TRICARE.

“This law is a significant step toward relieving financial burdens and stimulating economic growth in our healthcare sector,” said Governor Green. “By exempting healthcare and dental services reimbursed for these critical programs from the GET, we will promote increased equity and access to healthcare and strengthen our healthcare infrastructure. As a former ER physician working in a rural community, I can confidently say that this legislation will be especially beneficial for rural healthcare providers and patients.”

SB 1035 received endorsements from more than 155 healthcare professionals and is seen as a potential solution to the state’s shortage of nearly 800 physicians. A recent survey of physicians by the John A. Burns School of Medicine found that the elimination of the GET on medical services could be an effective means of recruiting and maintaining more physicians.

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/724525659/historic-bills-signed-to-improve-hawai-i-s-cost-of-living

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