Senate Bill 56 states its purpose is “to preserve essential (government) services and prevent (government) employment reductions” by generating revenue for the state by:”
>> Increasing the personal income tax rate and implementing a rate recapture mechanism that phases out lower tax brackets for high earners;
>> Increasing the tax on capital gains;
>> Increasing the corporate income tax and establishing a single corporate income tax rate;
>> Temporarily suspending certain general excise tax exemptions; and
>> Increasing conveyance taxes for the sale of properties valued at $1 million or greater.
Every one of these goals is a killer to small business, especially the capital gains increase. Consider a small businessperson who cashed in stocks and other assets in order to pay ongoing operation costs in 2020, when the state closed tourism. This bill wants to penalize the small businesses for cashing in assets in order to survive a year without income and to start again in 2021.
This bill as written is not only anti- small business; it is heartless in its implementation.
Chairman, Waikiki Beach Activities, Ltd.
People need to take responsibility for selves
I know I’m going to be criticized mightily for this letter. However, regarding the countless articles pointing out inequality among different groups/ethnicities/races when it comes to receiving services — ranging from COVID-19 inoculations to houselessness to pretty much any topic you can pick — it should be noted, at least now and then, that people are supposed to be responsible and accountable for their own well-being.
I acknowledge my Caucasian background, which had nothing to do with any choice on my part, and I respect our communal need to work hard at making all lives better, first in our nation and then throughout the world.
But it galls me to see, over and over again, the inference that some systemic ill or failure accounts for people not trying to do the right thing by themselves and their families. Each one has an active role in his or her life and bears some responsibility for its outcome.
Government policy pendulum now a scythe
As a kid, I was taught that government policy swings back between the left and the right, like a pendulum. Today’s overheated partisanship has turned that pendulum into a scythe that swings way too far into overreach, triggering a reaction that involves more overreach. And so forth. Cutting down wheat, instead of growing it.
The result is instability and uncertainty, disorder. And in some instances, an inability to solve problems.
Many national issues like COVID-19 relief, tax reform, infrastructure and immigration could be handled through moderate reform. That is, it would be easy to write moderate reform, if there were moderates to vote for it.
In Hawaii, we see less change, but also less chaos. There’s an upside to that.
Allow OHA to build on Kakaako Makai
Protesters urging “Save Our Kakaako” ought to save their energy for a better cause (“Proposal for condo towers in Kakaako Makai dies,” Star-Advertiser, March 17).
There is nothing sacrosanct about Kakaako Makai that should prohibit high-rise housing. With skillful planning, high-rises can be just as attractive as low-rises at ground level.
The only people who might have a grievance would be residents of Kakaako Mauka whose ocean views might be blocked.
It hardly needs to be said that we have a housing shortage that is driving prices sky-high. Why block construction where it would be convenient?
Because the Office of Hawaiian Affairs would benefit financially, this would reduce pressure on the taxpayers to fund OHA programs.
Carl H. Zimmerman
Trusty vaccination booklet lets her travel
I endorse Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s proposal for the issuance of vaccine passports, but there is no need to create one (“Vaccines could lead to lifting of Hawaii’s travel restrictions,” Star- Advertiser, March 15).
Seventy years ago, I acquired my first World Health Organization (WHO) International Certificate of Vaccination yellow booklet. Ever since, medical professionals have noted the date/ vaccine/dose/lot number/expiration date, along with their signatures, of the vaccines I have received. My booklet, which I pack with my passport, has allowed me unquestioned entry into countries where certain vaccines were mandatory.
Though unfamiliar with the WHO booklet, the nurses and doctor who administered my Pfizer vaccine thought it was a great idea. In addition to issuing me a COVID-19 vaccination record card, they entered the information into my booklet. I am good to travel!
Felicity O. Yost
Stop rail project before state, city go bankrupt
With the coronavirus pandemic severely damaging Hawaii’s economy and full recovery projected to be three to four years away, the rail transit project is the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
Not many people have the spare change to pay billions and billions for a rail transit system that goes from one shopping center to another. And, I might add, where are the parking lots at each rail station?
Let the rail die before it bankrupts the state and the city.
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