Carvalho vetoes ‘agronomics’ bill

LIHUE — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. vetoed a bill that would have separated agricultural lands on Kauai into three categories — pasture, diversified agriculture and biotech research — when county officials are calculating real property tax assessments.

In a letter today to Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Carvalho said he found the bill to be “poorly crafted, disincentivizes certain forms of agriculture production, and would be difficult and costly to implement and enforce.” 

“After careful review of the bill I do not believe that this measure is consistent with our historic and current philosophy of encouraging continued use of agriculturally zoned lands for agriculture purposes through a tax structure that benefits farmers and ranchers,” he wrote. “In fact, I believe it is detrimental to our efforts to expand agriculture opportunities for all types of farming on Kauai.” 

The bill, introduced by former Kauai County Councilman Tim Bynum, was passed Nov. 19 by a 4-2 vote, with council members Rapozo and Ross Kagawa voting against. 

See Thursday’s issue of The Garden Island for complete coverage.

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