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Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs April 1 , 2024

 Kaʻū Coffee farmers are urged to ask the state legislators to pass truth in labeling laws to keep foreign beans out of Hawaiian
 coffee bags. Local coffee growers have built their reputation on 100 percent  Kaʻū.  Photo by Julia Neal

TRUTH IN LABELING FOR THE COFFEE INDUSTRY survives at the 2024 Hawai'i Legislature. A statement from the Hawai'i Coffee Association says, "Thanks to your testimony, HB 2298 HD1 cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection on March 20. Based on your comments, the committee also restored the bill to its original form! This bill will ultimately require coffee labeled using Hawai'i's origin names (like Kona and Kaʻū) contain 100% coffee from that origin by July of 2027.
   "This bill is now scheduled to be heard in Hawai'i's Senate Judiciary committee on Tuesday, April 2 at 10:05 a.m.. Like before, we need to tell legislators how we feel about blenders selling 90% foreign-grown coffee labeled with Hawaii's origin names."
    The message urges the public to "tell the Senate Judiciary Committee you support HB 2298 HD1 SD1.
Hawai'i's Department of Agriculture commissioned a study last year that shows that this legislation will cause revenue to shift from a handful of blenders to the many growers located throughout the state! We've analyzed several of these blends. We discovered defective coffee and severe insect damage! Hawai'i's growers are required to adhere to strict grade standards, yet these imported coffees are not! This is unfair!
    "If you object to foreign grown blends masquerading as Hawai'i-grown coffee and undercutting your price, tell the legislature!
    "Raw foreign-grown coffee imported into our growing regions is a prime vector for invasive pests and disease. Tell the legislature this practice must stop!
    "No one knows better than you that Hawai'i's coffee is among the best in the world. Diluting it with foreign-grown coffee, to the point that consumers can't taste one Hawai'i-grown bean in ten, is simply wrong. Please tell the legislature to pass HB2298 HD1 SD1 and protect the integrity of Hawai'i's coffee industry." Follow the legislation, read testimonies and find opportunities to submit testimonies https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=2298&year=2024


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HAWAI'I RESIDENTS SUFFER THE SECOND HIGEST TAX BURDEN OF ANY STATE, according to the WalletHub. "With Tax Day approaching on April 15 and 72% of Americans thinking their current tax

rate is too high, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2024 Tax Burden by State report and its 2024 Tax Facts infographic, as well as expert commentary," says the WalletHub study.
    In order to determine which states tax their residents most aggressively, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on the three components of state tax burden — property taxes, individual income taxes, and sales and excise taxes — as a share of total personal income. Hawai'i ranked second in Overall Tax Burden, 25 in Property Tax Burden, sixth in Individual Income Tax Burden and third in Total Sales & Excise Tax Burden.
    According to WalletHub, California has the highest individual income tax burden, while Maine has the highest property tax burden, and Washington has the highest sales and excise tax burden. When considering all types of taxes together, New York has the highest overall burden.
    The lowest tax burden overall is in Alaska, followed by New Hampshire, Wyoming, Florida and Tennessee.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.