Manoa Representative Isaac Choy gets credit for shooting down HB 2869, the bill to expand available tax credits to the film industry.
The conference committee convened at 9 a.m. yesterday, then soon recessed until 1 p.m. as industry lobbyists pushed to maximize benefits for the film companies and their investors beyond current limits.
Choy, co-chair of the House conferees on the bill, reportedly agreed to extend the existing film credits, but the offer was rejected as the Senate conferees, led by Sen. Fukunaga, pushed for a bigger payoff for the industry, and sought support for a proposed conference draft. Choy refused, and the bill appeared to be dead.
But it got a reprieve when the final decking deadline with pushed out, giving time for more behind the scenes maneuvering by lobbyists and pro-industry legislators.
Choy has more than a passing interest in this issue. He served as chair of the Tax Review Commission (2005-2007) which recommended an overhaul of the Act 221 high tech tax credits, among other changes.
I commented back in January 2009 that Choy had hit the ground running as a new representative by raising pointed questions about tax credit policies.
Now Choy, as a member of the Finance Committee and vice-chair of Economic Revitalization, Business, & Military Affairs, has been able to ask extremely sharp and pointed questions as Act 221 is again under review.
It’s refreshing to watch professionals who really know their stuff able to fill positions where they can immediately put their knowledge and experience to work. The public is certainly going to benefit.
During his 2010 reelection campaign, I again noted Choy’s strong critical views on tax credits.
• In an email, Representative Isaac Choy’s campaign chairman questioned why the Hawaii Venture Capital Association made an endorsement in just one legislative race.
The only House or Senate race at the State Legislature was for Kimberly Case against Rep. Isaac Choy. Isn’t it odd that the proponents of the 221 tax credit go after the one state legislator who they see as the roadblock to their cash flow? Forget the Gov’s race, these greedy folks want to suck another $100 million a year from the state for the next ten years, again.
While I disagreed strongly with Choy’s backing of a bill to restrict public information about consumer complaints, I was quite impressed with the level of his participation during Finance Committee discussions of the budget, these tax credits, and other issues. Choy, who is a CPA, raised the level of committee discussion and provided key perspectives.
No wonder he’s been targeted by the HVCA, I guess.