TAX FOUNDATION OF HAWAII

Honolulu, HI   |  www.tfhawaii.org

Mission

To promote and encourage efficiency and economy in Hawaii governments through unbiased, non-political studies and surveys of a factual nature, making available and disseminating such information and data by publications, reports, talks, the radio and television.

Ruling year info

1955

President

Mr. Thomas Yamachika

Main address

126 Queen St Ste 305

Honolulu, HI 96813 USA

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EIN

99-0080329

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

Public Finance, Taxation, Monetary Policy (W22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Legislative Tax Bill Service

The Foundation reviews and comments on tax or fiscal bills moving through the Hawaii Legislature. Both policymakers and the Foundation's membership are given a summary of the staff's comments on each measure. Comments are made on the basis of the policy goals the Foundation stands for.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Conducted classes on relevant topics. These classes were made available to the general public including lawmakers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Provide training for nonprofit executive directors to enable them to understand the intersection of economic and social well being to enable them to be more active participants in the civic arena and to ensure that public dollars are used efficiently.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Legislative Tax Bill Service

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Foundation's role in the legislative hearing process is to provide an independent and unbiased viewpoint on tax and other public finance legislation.

Number of appearances on mass media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Legislative Tax Bill Service

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Foundation president is an often quoted source in the media, highlighting the Foundation's analysis and knowledge base in tax and public finance issues.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Tax Foundation of Hawaii is a nonprofit, educational IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization whose main purpose is to educate the public and lawmakers on the impact of the actions taken by government in Hawaii. The Foundation analyzes and examines tax and spending policies at the state and local government levels in Hawaii and keeps track of how state and county governments collect their taxes and how those monies are spent. The Foundation also assesses the impact of these public finance policies as they affect the economic climate and the outlook for Hawaii's future.

The Foundation does not take positions, but analyzes proposed legislation against the principles of tax fairness, equity, accountability, efficiency, simplicity, and competitiveness of the tax structure. The Foundation speaks out when higher taxes are proposed or when government wastes our hard earned tax dollars. It simplifies the complex world of government finance and explains why certain schemes are detrimental to taxpayers.

The Tax Foundation aspires to be a preeminent educational resource to which individuals, companies, and policymakers alike can turn to shape tax policy. To do this, it needs credibility and sustainability. Credibility is accomplished by having clear principles that shape its perspective, by having an easily accessible repository of deep historical knowledge about the tax and public finance systems in Hawaii, and by frequent exposure of our policy ideas to our stakeholders so they can be educated and, in turn, provide feedback to the Foundation so that its message can continue to be refined and relevant to policymakers. Sustainability is accomplished by having this credibility with a stable (and preferably growing) membership base of committed funders that are aligned with the Foundation's mission.

To educate the public as well as lawmakers about government finances in Hawaii and the efficient use of tax revenues, the Foundation analyzes and presents testimony on tax and finance legislation before the state legislature and the county councils. Our findings and comments are the basis for our online publication, the Legislative Tax Bill Service, which is made available to members and to legislators.

The President of the Foundation attends numerous public hearings on tax measures to present our observations and to answer questions from lawmakers. The Foundation has a weekly commentary on tax and finance issues that is distributed to all members, donors and to print and on-line media sources. Weekly commentaries are also archived on our website.

To create more frequent exposure of policy ideas to our stakeholders, our strategy is to increase our exposure through sponsored forums, media releases and appearances, and a website enabled for social media. Presently, the Foundation sponsors Legislative Briefing meetings to members and the general public to inform them of what legislation has been introduced with a summary and status update of such legislation. The President of the
Foundation also speaks before business and community groups to inform the public of the basic workings of government and the current issues before lawmakers, and in addition, appears before television, radio and print media to further inform citizens of government actions.

The Foundation is moving toward having an easily accessible repository of its deep historical knowledge. The Foundation already has a large trove of historical documents. Most are on paper so accessibility is limited. One of our medium-range goals is to digitize these documents and make them electronically available.

The Foundation's hardworking staff is committed to quality analysis at the speed needed to keep up with the often frenetic 60-day legislative session. During session, the staff works numerous hours to research, prepare, submit and attend hearings on multiple legislative issues. We submit our testimony electronically to lawmakers at the state capitol and often to the county councils. We also email our weekly commentary to our members, donors and media outlets.

In the past, the Foundation has called out a practice of sequestering monies in various legislatively created special funds. Monies in special funds are not counted against the state's debt limit and are unavailable to fund essential core programs. After the Foundation exposed this practice of hiding money in special funds, lawmakers now think twice about creating new special funds and have repealed some existing special funds.

The Foundation has also pointed out the dangers of earmarking of general funds for a specific purpose. In one instance, the Foundation raised concerns about a controlled substances bill in 2016 that redirected the fines for illegal use to the department's special fund thereby bypassing the appropriation process; this provision was taken out of the final bill.

While the Foundation has continually recommended that the state tax laws be made easier to comply with, this year it has recommended that the tax laws be adjusted to provide that low-income taxpayers be taken of the tax rolls rather than adopting various tax credits and adjustments which may be difficult to understand and with which to comply.

One of the Foundation's major ongoing hurdles is to establish a stable stream of financing, a plan for sustainability, the creation a group of committed funders along with an increase in the membership base.

In addition, the Foundation has an archive of tax legislation dating back to statehood. One of our goals is to have this information placed in a searchable data base so members and interested parties can peruse this valuable background information.

The work and mission of the Foundation is ongoing and never ending. We will always need to keep a watch on proposed legislation and share our findings with lawmakers and private citizens.

Financials

TAX FOUNDATION OF HAWAII
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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TAX FOUNDATION OF HAWAII

Board of directors
as of 11/8/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Manoj Samaranayake

Wikoff Combs & Co. LLC

Term: 2021 - 2024

Lon Okada

Hawaiian Electric Industries

Meredith Ching

Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd.

Roger Epstein

Cades Schutte

Richard Henderson

Realty Investment Co.

Richard Kelley

Ross Kohara

Schmidt, Shimokawa & Associates

Ronald Heller

Torkildson Katz et al.

Helen Chang

Hawaiian Airlines

Kieran Yap

Manoj Samaranayake

Wikoff Combs & Co. LLC

Glenn Shigetomi

KPMG LLP-Honolulu

Dennis Brown

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawaii

Ku'uhaku Park

Matson Navigation Co.

Michael Kam

Kamehameha Schools

Lauralei Tanaka

Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii Inc.

Michael O'Malley

Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

Craig Warren

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

James Aiona

JRA, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/2/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.