COVID-19 Special Reports
In 2020, a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 forced the State of Hawai‘i to take unprecedented measures to protect public health, at great cost to the Islands’ economy. Efforts to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic shuttered all but essential local businesses and slowed tourism to a trickle. Job loss and wage reductions quickly followed. Tax collections – from general excise taxes, transient accommodations taxes, and income taxes, among others – are projected to tilt sharply downward. Under these extraordinary conditions, the Office of the Auditor has been reviewing prior audit reports and other information to identify new revenue sources, along with accounts and subaccounts associated with special and revolving funds that have excess moneys the Legislature may be able to consider transferring to the General Fund. This strategy was employed in 2002, during the economic downturn that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks (Act 178, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2002). It was also used in 2009, 2010, and 2011 to meet budget shortfalls during the Great Recession (Act 79, SLH 2009, Act 192, SLH 2010, and Act 124 SLH 2011).