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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  January 25, 2006

Release M-7-06





            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced he has established the Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee to counsel the City administration and the City Council on tax policies and laws.

            “We are fortunate to have such a stellar array of private citizens willing to offer their wisdom and expertise as we chart a fiscal course for this City and devise short- and long-term solutions and continue my drive to put us back on a prudent financial track while balancing taxpayer demands for tax relief and, at the same time, more City services,” said Hannemann.

            The members of the all-volunteer committee are:

·       Steven Ai, president and CEO of City Mill.

·       Paul Brewbaker, Bank of Hawaii senior vice president and chief economist.

·       Karl Essig, advisory director of the international banking and securities firm Morgan Stanley, where he has worked for more than 25 years. Essig also served last year on the City Asset Management Review Team and recently on the Honolulu Zoo Public-Private Partnership Committee.

·       John Henry Felix, businessman and a former City Council Budget chairman.

·       Lowell Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

·       Denise Konan, University of Hawaii economics professor and interim chancellor of the UH-Manoa campus.

·       James Mak, chairman of the UH-Manoa Economics Department.

·       Seiji Naya, former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Currently distinguished visiting senior fellow at the East-West Center and UH economics professor emeritus.

·       Marcia Sakai, director of the UH Hilo College of Business and Economics.


            “This committee is part of our three-pronged effort to address issues brought to the fore by the rise in assessed valuations of homes across Oahu in recent years,” said Hannemann. “As I’ve said before, we want to give back $40 million in increased property tax revenues this year and start building the City’s fiscal stability reserve fund. We also hope to establish by next year a new homeowner tax classification in order to relieve the property tax burden on homeowners. The Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee will work with the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services to help us come up with the best way to implement those short- and medium-range solutions and to take a broader, long-term look at the City’s taxes.”





                  Bill Brennan, 527-6928

                  Mark Matsunaga, 527-5784


Thursday, January 26, 2006

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