Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 |
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• Kapa‘a traffic
• Tax law
While stuck in Kapa‘a traffic creeping past Safeway, I found myself saddened to see the latest development cropping up. I’m referring to the 190 unit timeshare project filling in one of Kapa‘a coastline’s last, miniscule, undeveloped areas.
The usual long wait to turn left out the Safeway parking lot will be further impeded when the lone crosswalk becomes filled with all the new timeshare owners crossing the highway to shop Kauai Village. Pedestrians have the right-of-way, and this already congested area is likely to become even more of a headache.
I hope I am wrong, and that the agencies and those we elect are ready with a solution for this problem. The example I gave is only one of many we are facing in the very near future. Much bigger developments are already in the works which will further stress our limited resources (particularly roadways and landfills). These new projects seem geared towards timeshare and vacation owners. Legal ways are available to successfully curtail development until the infrastructure can support the population increase. is this being explored by those we elect, or are they demonstrating lack of vision by putting the “cart before the horse”? Does county approval of these developments reflect the desire of the full-time residents and voters of Kauai?
Years ago I would always hear the mantra “We’ll never repeat the mistakes made on Maui and Oahu”. This mindset was also frequently expressed in the Joni Mitchell song: “Pave Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot”.
Overdevelopment and gridlock threaten the essence of what makes Kauai special (for residents and tourism). An election year presents us with the chance to get a message out to our elected officials. I hope that we elect candidates who can preserve a balance on Kauai.
There is a lot of debate about the new tax law and what is so sad is that there is even a need to have vote for it to begin with.
Many of the same arguments we are hearing were expressed during the late 1980’s when property taxes rose as a result of Japanese investment. There was a lot of talk of revising the tax law then, three county council members were there but obviously, they lack either the ability, or sympathy to do anything.
One writer warns that the County might lose as much as eight million dollars in revenue if we adopt this law. The County government’s budget has gone up about 70% over the last ten years. Have wages gone up that significantly, are there new parks with better maintenance, and what about infrastructure, can the County government justify this kind of increase?
We’re now being told that there is a question of legality with the proposed law. Anything new is bound to have some flaws, that‘s what amendments, or courts, are for. Everything is going to have a few problems initially; it’s a matter of finding out where the problems are and fixing them.
To justify not doing anything because they are afraid of doing anything does not inspire confidence.
If the County government wants to justify these obscene increases a very simple way to do so would be to commit to a full and public audit. If the people in office are unwilling to do so then it is time to get people who will.
These kinds of increases without a corresponding increase in services can only lead people to one conclusion and it’s not good.
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