Hawaii Prepares to Slap Every Tourist with a Global Warming Tax

tomas del amo / shutterstock.com
tomas del amo / shutterstock.com

While many states embrace their role as tourist destinations, thanks to the revenue that visitors bring in every year, the legislature in Hawaii is about to embrace a novel approach to the industry. What if they financially punish every person who travels to Hawaii for a visit in the future? Lawmakers have decided they want to slap every tourist in the face with a $25 tax to pay for the invisible, nonexistent boogeyman known as global warming.

This should be interesting. Most states want to incentivize tourism because it’s great for local economies. Visitors stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, take tours, buy goofy T-shirts, and so on, and local businesses benefit from all this. It creates jobs during the tourism season and many industries already collect extra taxes from tourism—such as hotel bed taxes. The geniuses in the Hawaii legislature, however, seem to think that insulting tourists and charging them more to visit the state will somehow work in their favor.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) is a big proponent of sticking it to tourists who visit Hawaii. He campaigned on the idea of jamming every tourist up for $50 just to visit the islands. That plan failed to get enough votes to make it through the legislature, but the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate are now on board with the $25 nuisance fee.

“It’s a very small price to pay to preserve paradise,” says Green.

Only a handful of other locations in the world have attempted this plan before, with mixed results. Greece, Venice, Palau, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand have all imposed tourism taxes ranging from $1 to $100 per person.

Gov. Green is so insulting in his approach to this global warming tax that it makes you never want to visit his state again.

“All I want to do, honestly, is to make travelers accountable and have the capacity to help pay for the impact that they have,” said Green.

Do you hear that, tourists? Gov. Green is going to make you accountable for global warming because this fake problem is all your fault! The plane that you ride to Hawaii is causing global warming, so you are going to pay! Unlike the private jets that people like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Taylor Swift take to Hawaii. Those are exempt from taxes for the very serious problem of global warming.

“We get between nine and 10 million visitors a year, (but) we only have 1.4 million people living here,” adds Green. “Those 10 million travelers should be helping us sustain our environment.”

Right. Except the 10 million travelers already do help Hawaii sustain its environment. Through tourism! Sustaining your local economy is what allows local and state governments to take on stupid pet projects like pretending to impact the weather through taxes. Hawaii already has the highest state hotel tax in the country. Adding more taxes for tourists to pay is obviously not a good look. Then again, Democrats clearly don’t understand the concept of disincentivizing activities.

Republicans in the Hawaiian legislature note that imposing a global warming tax on tourists is probably illegal in America. The Constitution guarantees Americans the right to travel freely between US states. It doesn’t seem to allow states to impose taxes on non-residents to battle fake problems like global warming. Unfortunately, Republicans are outnumbered in the Hawaii legislature, so they don’t have any hope of shooting down this proposal. Americans who want to visit Hawaii will just have to pay the new tax until the federal courts eventually shoot the idea down.