Hawaii Legislature passes tax hikes on income, cigarettes

The Hawaii State Legislature passed several bills increasing taxes on high incomes, cigarette sand tobacco, and the conveyance tax on the sale of pricey homes.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday to increase the state income tax rates for single taxpayers who make $150,000 or more a year, heads of households who make $225,000 or more, and couple filing jointly earning $300,000 or more a year. The bill also raises the personal exemption and the standard income tax deduction.

The cigarette tax increases the per-cigarette tax to 13 cents, starting July 1. The tax will increase to 14 cents July 1, 2010, and 15 cents on July 1, 2011.

Another tax targeting smokers — the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes and cigars — was passed, increasing the tax from 40 percent to 70 percent of the wholesale price, beginning Sept. 30. The state’s tax on cigars will increase from 40 percent to 50 percent, and smaller cigars will be taxed like cigarettes.

A bill increasing the conveyance tax on the sale of properties of $2 million or more and on second homes was also passed.

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