$3 Tax Checkoff –The Kickoff

$3 Tax Checkoff –The Kickoff

Common Cause Hawaii kicks off its $3 Tax Checkoff awareness campaign in support of the Campaign Spending Commission and the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund.

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Common Cause Hawaii and the Hawaii State Campaign Spending Commission have partnered to increase awareness about the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund (HECF). In a nutshell, the Campaign Spending Commission is responsible for monitoring and enforcing state campaign finance regulations. Money from the HECF covers the Campaign Spending Commission’s general operating expenses and goes to the Hawaii Partial Public Financing program.

The HECF, in turn, is funded by Hawaii tax payers who select the “yes” option on their state tax return. This does not affect one’s income tax refund, but instead allocates $3 from the general fund to the HECF.

We have found that due to a lack of awareness of who the Campaign Spending Commission is, the role they play; what the HECF is, the role it plays; and the common misunderstanding that selecting the “yes” option does not increase one’s tax liability, the amount of people selecting “yes” and income to the HECF has been in steady decline for the past several years.

To kick off our Hawaii Election Campaign Fund awareness campaign, Common Cause Hawaii was invited to speak to the Hawaii State Campaign Spending Commissioners at their February 2015 public meeting. Christine Trecker, a Common Cause Hawaii volunteer, presented on the campaign, our vision, and our strategy. Common Cause staff members Carmille Lim and Corie Tanida were also in attendance and offered further insight on how this campaign aligns with our goals of encouraging public funding, and much needed support for good government watchdog agencies like the Campaign Spending Commission. Commissioners Snipes, Ching, Shoda, and Yoshihara were receptive to the campaign and Common Cause Hawaii’s efforts.

Action Needed

Here are 3 easy ways to help:

  1. Select “yes” on your tax return in support of the HECF. It doesn’t affect your tax return and is an easy way to help ensure clean elections.  If you use a tax preparer, make sure they understand the importance of selecting “yes”.
  2. Talk to 3 (or more) of your friends or family members and ask them to also select “yes”. Taking just a few minutes to explain the HECF can make the difference.
  3. If you are interested in helping with this campaign, please contact ctanida@commoncause.org for more information.

Encouraging public funding, and reducing big, special interest money in politics has always been important to Common Cause supporters. $3 goes a long way.

Let’s all support the Campaign Spending Commission and their role in maintaining the integrity and transparency of Hawaii’s political campaigns.


Completing your taxes? Here’s what to look for:

On the Hawaii State Individual Tax Return Form (N-11):

Turbo Tax:


$3 goes a long way. Mahalo for your support!

See More: Money & Influence