Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 |
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• Ohana Kauai
• Voting and integrity
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! Let the fear-mongering and class warfare begin! As the scare tactics from county officials escalate, one has to wonder why they are so opposed to local residents receiving some tax relief initiated by the citizens themselves? Spending and services will have to be cut! The county will lose 3 to 9 million dollars! However, has anyone seen any credible facts or auditable financial figures to support these claims? In typical inefficient style, even the harbingers of doom can’t figure out how much money they will lose if the citizens pass some tax relief for themselves. Did any of these “hogs at the public trough” ever consider that a cut in spending might be a GOOD thing?
The county budget has gone from about $50 million to about $100 million in a very few years. Has anyone seen a corresponding increase in county services? What we have here is about 1500 county workers with lifetime job security, pensions and health care holding the rest of us hostage by clinging to an unfair taxing system which rides the wave of increasing assesments due to an influx of newcomers (some wealthy, some not) buying Kaua‘i.
The result of too much money which chases too few goods (in this case real estate) is price inflation. The county loves it, because the fair market value system of taxing requires that everybody’s tax goes up when prices in the neighborhood go up. However, the person who stays in his/her home receives no benefit from higher values in the area. They may receive a benefit, at some future date, if they choose to sell, but if they choose to remain in the family home, higher values under the current taxing system are a liability. This liabilty has already destroyed neighborhoods. Look at Hanalei as an example, where some local families have been forced to sell or move because they could not afford the higher property taxes resulting from the current method of taxation. The power to tax is the power to destroy.
Voting and integrity
“Yes, I know the family.” The familiar statement is heard every two years as election time comes around. So and so is running for office and “I went to school with him/her.” Sometimes the relationship is even more distant. “My cousin use to date his brother.” Another familiar quote is “I have been with them for a long time.” Naturally a person’s reputation is very important especially when a potential candidate grew up on our Garden Island.
But what occurs at times is that just because a name or a face is familiar to us we tend to think that such an individual deserves our precious vote and our vote is indeed very precious. So and so may have helped me out once, fixed my car or helped me mend my fence but is that individual really the best person for the job. Are our elected officials the best Kauai has to offer or are we just another link of the “good old boy” scenario. Naturally everyone likes to be acknowledged by those in high places and it is natural to want to be a part of “the winning team.”
But “knowing the family” won’t solve the traffic problem on Kaua‘i nor will it protect public access to the beaches. Voting for a formal school mate won’t create more meaningful jobs on the island nor will it protect affordable housing. Voting for a “good friend” won’t guarantee there will be a Kauai way of life for your children or mine. The best candidate may be the guy/girl that has only been a resident of the island for a couple of years then again it may not. The only sure way to get the best possible government leaders is to study the issues and learn where each candidate stands on them. Your vote is very precious and your integrity is also. Do it for your children.
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