Awareness Campaign Launches to Protect Hawaii’s Working Families, Businesses and Taxpayers

“Play Fair in Hawaii” is the Local Campaign of the National “Construction Industry Tax Fraud Days of Action”

Honolulu, Hawaii – Pacific Resource Partnership announces “Play Fair in Hawaii,” an initiative aimed at protecting Hawaii’s working families, businesses and taxpayers from tax and other fraudulent business practices. The statewide campaign launches in conjunction with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters campaign, “Construction Industry Tax Fraud Days of Action” from April 14 – 17, 2021 with events and campaigns occurring across the U.S and Canada. Both the local and national campaigns seek to raise awareness about how tax fraud, cash payments, employee misclassification, and other non-compliant practices result in lower wages, unsafe workplaces, and less funding for the community.

“Right now, we know that the cumulative value of unreported taxes would generate about $900 million for our state, which should be going to vital services like schools, roads and health systems,” said Department of Taxation Director Isaac Choy. 

On a national level, more than $8.4 billion is lost to construction industry tax fraud when unscrupulous contractors evade state, local and federal taxes, when they pay workers off the books or as independent contractors.

“Unfortunately, there are contractors who don’t pay their fair share and operate in the underground economy, cheating the system and their employees,” said Ron Taketa, Executive Secretary Treasurer for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters. “The pandemic has only made the impact greater of the loss of tax revenue for the state, and the critical benefits workers are entitled to, like unemployment and medical insurance, paid family and medical leave, as well as a safe working conditions for employees.”

The new “Play Fair in Hawaii” website features personal stories of employees who were worked for unethical employers that shorted their hours and pay, as well as jeopardized their health and safety. State of Hawaii Director of Taxation Isaac Choy also shared a video message on the impact to the community when state tax dollars are lost.

“Play Fair in Hawaii” sheds light on a number of key compliance-related issues with important economic impact:

  • Tax Fraud in the Construction Industry
  • Wage Theft
  • Misclassification
  • Employee Rights
  • Health and Safety
  • Licensed Contracting
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Fair Contracting

For employees who feel they may be a victim of tax or other fraudulent practices, Pacific Resource Partnership’s campaign and website encourages individuals to speak up privately. You may confidentially report concerns through the “Play Fair in Hawaii” website or to the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-487-9243.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.playfairhawaii.com.

About Pacific Resource Partnership

PRP is a not-for-profit organization that represents the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters and more than 240 of Hawaii’s top contractors. Through this unique partnership, PRP has become an influential voice for responsible construction and an advocate for creating a stronger, more sustainable Hawaii in a way that promotes a vibrant economy, creates jobs and enhances the quality of life for all residents. For more information, visit prp-hawaii.com.