Letters for Wednesday, August 20, 2008

• Solution to the tax controversy

• From Texas on taxes

• Drive with care

• Superferry visit would be delightful

Solution to the tax controversy

I have a plan to solve the tax problem. Have a transient visitor tax. Each visitor upon arrival to the island is charged $10. This can be collected/built in to the plane ticket. At nearly 1 million visitors yearly, this would help the county.

Not to raise taxes on vacation rentals, many of which are owned by island residents and many not occupied.

Councilmembers: here is your answer … simple, fair, equitable.

Fred Grabiel

Redbluff, Calif.

From Texas on taxes

Greetings from Killeen, Texas, to citizens on the island paradise of Kaua‘i. Here at the home of the U.S. Army’s giant post of Fort Hood we received some needed rainfall yesterday with more expected today.

Now with the state of the national economy, it would be great if we could get some needed relief there also.

It was a shock to read about the public hearing on a proposal to increase city taxes. At a time of sinking economy and rising inflation known as stagflation, economists are predicting a worse economy by 2009. I hope a tax increase in such a situation will not become the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Stagflation first raised its ugly head in the 1970s, during the Arab oil crisis. The U.S. had double-digit inflation for several years. People lost jobs, could not get loans to buy houses or even sell houses.

In the late 1980s, the economy declined in West Texas with the decrease in oil prices. Home values dropped as much as 50 percent, with most homes becoming worth less than the balance on the mortgages. Property appraisals were lowered accordingly. Banks failed. Original property values were still lower by the late 1990s.

With an outlook calling for worse recession in the coming year, it would seem that the city should economize and not balance the budget on the backs of citizens who are already suffering. It was just announced that home foreclosures locally are up 45 percent over from last year.

Due to the increase in the price of oil 500 percent since 2000, huge budget and trade deficits far into the future, the tremendous cost of the Iraq war going on to the national debt also for future generations to pay, the U.S. dollar is declining like never before in history.

The housing crisis is adding to the nation’s woes, with many billions of dollars being lost by mortgage, finance companies and banks. Along with lower housing prices, the number of foreclosures is increasing nationally. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being lost also.

People’s savings will decrease because of inflation, and banks are lowering interest rates also. The elderly will be especially affected, and those with fixed incomes depending on Social Security which pays cost of living increases based on the Consumer Price Index will find it much harder to get by. The CPI is a figment of the government’s imagination. It excludes all volatile items like energy, medical, food (yes, even food), etc.

I urge everyone, especially those recommending an increase in taxes to consider the consequences of a tax increase at this time. This will adversely affect many people presently finding it extremely difficult to pay their bills.

Ron Brown

Killeen, Texas

Drive with care

Aloha and mahalo to the Deptartment of Transportation for the fine work on repairing the road on the North Shore. Yes, some of us were stuck in traffic, but if you timed it right it wasn’t that bad. Our roads were long overdue for repair. Now you can safely traverse this stretch of highway with calmness of mind and safety. Sunday, a huge tree came down and because the road had been recently repaired and the shoulders cleaned up, a very dangerous situation was mitgated. There were enough signs for travelers to and from out of the North Shore for them to make arrangements ahead of time. The safety of our roads should supersede people’s schedules. Just leave early and you will be fine. Bring a book or listen to the radio, take a nap or maybe pray and talk to God and tell him how thankful you are that you get to live on Kaua‘i. Get our of your car and talk to your neighbor. There are many different ways you can deal with the slight traffic delay in comparison with the benefits that have transpired. Remember always drive with aloha.

Elaine Foster


Superferry visit would be delightful

My husband and I had a delightful time visiting Kaua‘i last weekend. The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed your beautiful scenery.

Our visit was only tainted by the one-hour wait for our reserved rental car and trying in vain to fit everything into our one free bag on the airline.

How we wish that we could have loaded up our own car and gone on the Superferry. Our two sons recently visited Maui on the Superferry and loved it. Please reconsider allowing the Superferry to transport passengers and vehicles to Kaua‘i.

Nancy Morgan

Ka‘a‘awa, O‘ahu


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