We need to reduce our tax burden. I'm for a simple, tax system, especially for residents who can't afford it. In 2005 the state failed to collect $341M in unpaid taxes while today's 2006 General Fund collections up 5 percent. We must do more to reduce taxes.
While receiving over half of the state's 7 million visitors in 2004, with 40 percent of Oahu's visitors being international travelers, Waikiki accounted for 8 percent of our state's GDP, about $3.6 billion. According to the latest 2006 figures of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, 10 percent of all civilian jobs statewide and 12 percent of all state and county tax revenues can be attributed to Waikiki tourism.
Though our Waikiki neighbors represent less than 3 percent of the state's population, they live in the state's greatest economic resource, with nearly 85,000 daily visitors and 30,000 workers. Over 160,000 jobs are directly and indirectly affected by visitor expenditures. A Waikiki Business Improvement District 2002 survey shows that 4,650 commercial parcels in Waikiki, valued at nearly $5.7 billion, contributed $55 million in property taxes.