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K. Mark Takai 1967 – 2016

August 19, 2016

Major General Robert G.F. Lee, who served as the Adjutant General from 2003 to 2011, submitted the following to Retiree News.

Mark Takai

From Mileka Lincoln’s Twitter – @MilekaLincoln

I would like to remind our Guardsmen and Reservists that call Hawaii home that they should remember Mark Takai every time they enjoy their special benefits. Mark would see me prior to every state legislative session to work out the “military appreciation package” we should push. Mark Takai would set up the bills and I would provide the testimony.

We all know the State of Hawaii is a tax hell but Mark was instrumental in rolling back taxes/fees for our Guardsmen and Reservists.

  1. The $1750 deduction from state taxes for being a member of the Guard or Reserve remained unchanged for decades in spite of inflation. We changed this to have this deduction change every year based on the drill and annual training pay for an E5 with 8 years of service and having a family of 4. We determined that this Sergeant and family is having a difficult time financially so the State should not tax his drill pay. Today the Guardsman/Reservist would deduct $6295 from his reportable income when calculating their State taxes. More importantly, this deduction would increase every time there is a military pay raise… need to go back to the legislature for changes.
  1. If a Guardsman/Reservist is deployed to a combat zone, all pay and allowances are not subject to State taxes (unlike California). Additionally, all licenses and professional fees would be extended until redeployment home. Students at the University of Hawaii system will maintain their status (tuition wise) until redeployed home.
  1. One automobile registration fees waived for being a member of the Guard/Reserve.

Mark pushed through the legislature the Hawaii Medal of Honor presented to the families of service members killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. This included all units based in Hawaii (Active, Guard, and Reserve). These annual ceremonies were tough to do but the families really appreciated this honor from the State of Hawaii.

Mark accomplished all of the above while NOT serving as the Chair of the Military Committee in the State Legislature. His reputation and drive pushed these benefits thru. Many states had similar benefits but only for members of the Guard. Mark was fair to all, Guard and Reserves.

It was a pleasure working with Mark, as a fellow soldier and an outstanding legislator, always looking out for the welfare of our troops.

Rest in peace Mark! You did an outstanding job to the very end and you “died with your boots on”.

Major General Robert G.F. Lee
United States Army Retired

After the close of his final session with the Hawaii State Legislature in 2014, his office manager, Lisa Vargas Omo complied this summary of the Military Appreciation Package 2004-2014

From → Benefits

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