LOS ANGELES — Lowell Kalapa, 64, the longtime executive director of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii, died Dec. 30.
A respected economic voice in the state, Kalapa argued for fiscal constraint by lobbying for fairness and equity in taxes and reduced government spending, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
He came out against recent efforts to raise the minimum wage in the state saying it would hurt small businesses and the economy.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle told the newspaper they valued Kalapa's institutional knowledge and ability to dissect complex financial issues.
"Lowell Kalapa will go down as the finest financial analyst and watchdog for taxpayers that we have ever had, and ever will," State Sen. Sam Slom told the newspaper.
Slom preceded Kalapa as the foundation's president and is the lone Republican in the 25-member Hawaii Senate.
Kalapa received a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
He had a weekly column in several Hawaii newspapers and also appeared regularly on radio and television programs.