Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 29, 2009 - MidWeek
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The tax pols love

There have been several excellent letters in MidWeek recently responding to city deputy director of Budget and Financial Services Mark Oto’s defense of property taxation. From a politician’s point of view, property tax is the perfect tax. It just keeps going up and up and elected officials don’t have to lift a finger or expose themselves to political risk to steadily increase the flow of funds. They can even take credit for slightly lowering rates, but all the while, the tax just keeps increasing.

In my case, my property taxes have increased 177 percent from 10 years ago. Even after considering inflation, this is a massive tax increase, well over 100 percent in adjusted dollars, actually close to 14 percent a year. When you look at the tax burden this way, it really makes Mr. Oto’s comments about the City and County reducing property tax rates hard to take.


Here’s another interesting set of figures: Since 2002, the city’s budget (operating and capital costs combined) has gone up by approximately 100 percent, also close to 14 percent a year. I wonder if there is some connection between these two eerily similar annual percentage increases. If I were a betting man, I might guess that the C&C is employing the time-honored “how much you got” budgeting technique. You know, when you ask the price of something and the seller responds, “How much you got?” Couple this approach to budgeting with the self-increasing property tax and you have the perfect system.

Of course, the question is, have the services we receive from the city also improved 14 percent a year. I don’t think so. Maybe a budget limited to the rate of inflation with exceptions voted on by public referendum would make sense.

Jeff Pace
Kapahulu

Not discrimination

This is in response to Dan Boylan’s column “Intolerance, Not Integrity.” He has reason to be proud of Hawaii because we are a people known for, among other things, “its intolerance for people of different ethnicities and religions.” Furthermore, I am proud that we know a civil rights issue when we see one, and the civil union issue (despite its name) is not one. Nature itself has dictated that every child comes into this world by means of a biological father and mother (talk about discrimination!). That we have established laws to recognize the union of a male with a female protects and insures the welfare of our future. The marriage of a man with a woman is the basic foundation of society and civilization.

Sometime in middle school, I learned that if A=B and B=C, then A=C. While civil union proponents claim that they are not trying to redefine traditional marriage, they certainly are trying hard to pose their unions as one. I am not a senior citizen. I do not go about claiming discrimination if I cannot get a senior discount. Those who want to join together male with male or female with female have the freedom to do so. But please don’t claim discrimination when you do not receive the same privileges as married couples.

Susan Oh
Mililani


Eco-bullies

Appears the Sierra Club runs Hawaii’s government. It’s obvious environmental groups have brainwashed government and the people into believing their agenda is “save the environment.”

The truth is, “power and control” along with “destroying business” are the goals of these groups.

I have lived in this beautiful paradise 35 years and watched Hawaii’s demise, where the aloha spirit is almost gone, crime is growing, medical professionals are leaving, homeless have taken over our parks, roads are the worst in the country, the anti-business reputation discourages new business that offer jobs to those who want work, ourists aren’t coming. Now the Superferry has been driven out, hurting small businesses, jobs, tourists and families in the guise of “saving the environment.”

Is this what Hawaii wants? The environment needs protection, but so do people and their livelihood. If people want to protect Hawaii, drive out environmental parasites who are destroying Hawaii, not saving it.

Elizabeth Oswald
Kahuku

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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