Tax crackdown was an outrage
Taxpayer outrage! That is the instant feeling I had upon reading the article regarding the state’s latest invasion into our lives and pocketbooks ("State gets tougher on farm, fair taxes," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 17).
Imagine, five investigators and one auditor harassing the poor farmers trying to make a living … wiping out two weeks’ income ($670), for one, and imposing a requirement for an additional $200 investment for cash registers.
The taxpayers’ cost for these six individuals must be at least $250,000 a year — all to impose $36,000 in fines on low-income people, of which only $11,000 was collected. No wonder their action resulted in a near-riot in Kailua.
Gov. Linda Lingle allowed this. Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie should stop such outrageous government invasion in our lives.
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GOP needs better ideas
I was more than a bit taken aback by the underlying theme of a recent article ("Slom solos on Democrats’ stage," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 16), which said state Sen. Sam Slom was worried that the Democrats could "ram" their proposals into law.
Should laws adopted by legislatures overwhelmingly approved by the voters be characterized as being rammed through, or are they an expression of the beliefs, attitudes and values of the voters?
Before the GOP in Hawaii can gain the confidence of more voters, it needs to propose a platform that mirrors a better understanding of the beliefs, attitudes and values of the people whom they want to represent, and not just criticize those who do.
Nuclear power a reliable option
Hawaii needs a reliable and plentiful source of electricity to replace the petroleum-burning power plants. It needs nuclear power plants.
Although wind, solar, geothermal and wave generators are being developed and implemented, they are only used to supplement petroleum plants.
A nuclear plant would reduce dependence on foreign oil and lower the price of electricity. It is much cheaper and more efficient to purchase and ship a few pounds of uranium than hundreds of barrels of oil.
Nuclear plants do not emit greenhouse gases, and most of the spent fuel can be reprocessed, making uranium a renewable energy source.
Obama library on neighbor isle
President Barack Obama’s presidential library should be placed on Maui or the Big Island. These islands feature large plots of undeveloped land with fantastic ocean views that could provide a wonderful blank slate for this potentially massive investment project.
There is clearly a community building aspect to the project. All too often our neighbor island keiki develop a mentality of not wanting to show up their friends and overachieve in the classroom and college. However, if Obama’s library is in Hilo or Kula, then the keiki will be exposed to the true story that hard work and smart choices can pay off.
A long walk on airport corridor
On a recent flight from Manila to Honolulu, we were told that WikiWiki buses were available to take us on a 10-minute ride to immigration. Not true. There were no buses or transportation of any kind, so we walked, carrying our bags for 25 minutes. I am 73 years old with health issues and should not be subjected to such inefficiencies by the state.
The new immigration corridor is supposed to have a series of people movers, but I saw only one that was working.
I understand there are 1.5 million international visitors a year. Prepare for that figure to go down if this is the way we treat our guests.
Home Lands get tax break, too
Both the editorial, "Tax exemptions due for review," (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 16) and the article by Rob Perez, "One tax fits all" (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 14) leave out the most common abuse of the city’s minimum property tax — residences on Hawaiian Home Lands. While a decent argument could be made to allow nonprofits to pay the minimum tax because of the services they provide to other residents, those residing on Hawaiian homelands are given the same benefit with nothing in return.
Kapolei is a prime example of the inequality. One resident with a $500,000 home pays $1,200 in property taxes, while a similar home across the street on Hawaiian Home Lands pays $300, even though they both receive exactly the same city services. Why does one group receive a huge benefit and the rest of us pay more than our fair share?