Letters for April 15, 2015

• Give pit bulls a chance • Accountability key to use of taxes

Give pit bulls a chance

I’m writing this letter because I feel obligated to back up the pit bull breed. I read a letter from the 24th of March that stated, “pit bulls not safe for Kauai.”

I am the proud owner of two pit bull mix dogs, and they are the sweetest dogs that I’ve ever owned. The pit bull breed is constantly getting bullied, and I am among many who are sick of it. There are no bad pit bulls, just bad owners. The lady who wrote about pit bulls shouldn’t be bad mouthing the entire breed because she feels there is one sketchy pit bull in her neighborhood. Anyone under the assumption that pits are bad dogs should watch pit bulls and parolees.

You will learn what pit bulls are truly like, and you might even learn to have some compassion for a breed that gets constantly beat down. I love my pit bull mix dogs, and I am thankful I have them in my life. Many other pit bull owners will probably say the same thing. Punish the bad owners but don’t punish the breed. I promise that I am not the only one that feels this way. Kauai is filled with pit bull lovers, and trying to ban them would never go through. My only wish is that the Kauai residents please give pit bulls the chance they deserve.

Kristi Sasachika

Kilauea

Accountability key to use of taxes

It is apparent that some people, including some politicians, do not understand the concept of “percentages.”

I recently heard a political leader make a statement that some tax rates may be 50 years old and therefore may need to be increased.

There are a few exceptions, (gasoline taxes), but most tax “rates” are based on percentages. For example, a tax rate of 4 percent on an item or service that cost $100 50 years ago would be a tax amount of just $4. But if that same item or service today costs $1,000, the same 4 percent tax rate would be $40. Ten times as much. This is why percentages are generally used to impose taxes. It keeps in tune with inflation and/or deflation.

Here on Kauai, (unless things have changed recently) we presently pay gasoline taxes in the amount of 18.4 cents per gallon to the federal government; 17 cents per gallon to the state of Hawaii; and another 17 cents per gallon to the County of Kauai. So a total of 52.4 cents of every gallon you buy goes to taxes. In my opinion, the imposition of gasoline taxes as a flat rate per gallon may have been a mistake. Had they applied it as a percentage from the beginning, it, too, would have kept in tune with inflation.

Gasoline taxes were primarily imposed to fund the transportation infrastructure. Although many agencies, including the a state of Hawaii and most likely the county of Kauai, have “borrowed” from their gas tax funds for various other reasons, some of our political leaders are proposing to implement an increase to our GET to fund the many transportation improvements very much needed on Kauai.

Gasoline is used by motorists who utilize the infrastructure. Therefore, gasoline taxes are paid by motorists. The more you drive, the more you use the roads and highways. The more you use the roads and highways, the more you should pay to build and maintain them.

Funds for maintaining roads and highways should come from gasoline taxes. Not from the GET.

Funds to support the bus system should come from the users. The riders. Just like funds to support the golf course should come from the golfers. Not from the general public. I’d much rather see the general funds that are currently used to support the Kauai bus and the golf course go toward the support of sports programs for the keiki.

I would support an increase in the county gasoline taxes if and only if the county can account for all gas tax dollars collected in the last 20 years. In fact, before we allow our elected leaders to impose any tax increases, we must insist on complete accountability.

“Government by the people.” Not “government to the people.”

Larry Arruda

Kapaa

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