A heated debate is taking place around the state over whether or not we should amend the state constitution. One proposal would give the state legislature the power to tax investment property to fund public education. That measure will be decided directly by voters through a ballot referendum.
In one month Hawaii voters will decide whether or not to amend the state constitution. The specific amendment under consideration would create a property tax surcharge to fund public education. It would be a significant change in how residents are taxed in this state. Currently only county governments can levy property taxes.
Voters will get the chance to decide whether or not property taxes should be used to fund Hawaii's public schools. A judge ruled on Friday that a referendum question to amend the state constitution could remain on the November ballot.
During this year's legislative session, state lawmakers approved the language for a statewide ballot referendum on a new amendment to the state constitution. If approved by voters, the amendment would create a state-wide property tax on certain investment properties to fund public schools. But attorneys from all of Hawaii's county governments are now challenging the proposal.
It's that time of year, when Mayors submit their budgets to County Councils. In Hawaii County, the main headline from Mayor Billy Kenoi's budget is a proposal to raise property taxes. From the Big Island, HPR's Sherry Bracken tells us more.